By fixing optical fibres inside a hypodermic needle, we can acquire Raman spectra of tissues inside the human body and avoid the current standard of invasive surgery to obtain a biopsy from the patient. This “optical biopsy” allows for faster recovery times and an instant diagnosis. Typically, conventional biopsies are sent away for histopathological analysis, which can take time and add to patient anxiety. Conventional analysis of the stained, excised sections is performed by pathologists. They often struggle to identify early-stage tumours and results are subjective.
Raman spectroscopy has been shown to identify and distinguish between lymphomas and metastasises ex vitro, and we aim to develop a commercial probe to perform this in vivo.