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Analyzing living cells quickly and accurately
Date:5/5/2014

ke-Layland.

The technology is already being employed on a practical basis by industrial partners. The scientists are working at present on a rapid test for cancer diagnosis. "Doctors using mobile Raman spectroscopes during an operation could unambiguously say whether the patient has cancer or not simply by comparing the cell sample with the data base," according to Schenke-Layland.

Cancer diagnoses are still complicated and prolonged. After excising the tissue for biopsy, it first must be prepared for further analysis for example by suitably sectioning or dying it to identify biomarkers. "But this always requires intervention in the specimen and manipulating it in some way," according to Schenke-Layland.

The specimen is then transferred to a pathologist who analyses whether the tissue contains malignant or benign cells. This method is error prone and can lead to the specimen being unusable for other tests in the end. "Human error is reduced by a software-based comparison with our data base," according to Schenke-Layland.

Employment in cancer diagnostics and regenerative medicine

There are numerous additional applications for this non-invasive optical technology especially in regenerative medicine. Artificially grown tissue may replace diseased cells in patients and thereby help the tissue to heal. To accomplish this, tissue-specific cells from bone marrow, for instance, must be removed and the stem cells extracted. Bone marrow is made up of highly diverse cells and it is complicated to differentiate the adult stem cells from the ordinary tissue cells. In addition, the stem cells must be 100% correctly identified and separated. If this does not happen and other types of cells are cultured into the implant, the body may not react as hoped, causing implant rejection or tumor formation.

Raman spectroscopy is a process to unambiguously identify and differentiate various materials from one another. It is based
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Contact: Dr. Katja Schenke-Layland
katja.schenke-layland@igb.fraunhofer.de
49-711-970-4082
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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