In-vivo Raman spectroscopy: from basics to applications
For more than two decades, Raman spectroscopy has found widespread use in biological and medical applications. The instrumentation and the statistical evaluation procedures have matured, enabling the lengthy transition from ex-vivo demonstration to in-vivo examinations. This transition goes hand-in-hand with many technological developments and tightly bound requirements for a successful implementation in a clinical environment, which are often difficult to assess for novice scientists in the field. This review outlines the required instrumentation and instrumentation parameters, designs, and developments of fiber optic probes for the in-vivo applications in a clinical setting. It aims at providing an overview of contemporary technology and clinical trials and attempts to identify future developments necessary to bring the emerging technology to the clinical end users. A comprehensive overview of in-vivo applications of fiber optic Raman probes to characterize different tissue and disease types is also given.