Raman, Infrared and Brillouin Spectroscopies of Biofluids for Medical Diagnostics and for Detection of Biomarkers

Sultan Aitekenov, Alisher Sultangaziyev, Perizat Abdirova, Lyailya Yussupova, Abduzhappar Gaipov, Zhandos Utegulov, Rostislav Bukasov

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This review surveys Infrared, Raman/SERS and Brillouin spectroscopies for medical diagnostics and detection of biomarkers in biofluids, that include urine, blood, saliva and other biofluids. These optical sensing techniques are non-contact, noninvasive and relatively rapid, accurate, label-free and affordable. However, those techniques still have to overcome some challenges to be widely adopted in routine clinical diagnostics. This review summarizes and provides insights on recent advancements in research within the field of vibrational spectroscopy for medical diagnostics and its use in detection of many health conditions such as kidney injury, cancers, cardiovascular and infectious diseases. The six comprehensive tables in the review and four tables in supplementary information summarize a few dozen experimental papers in terms of such analytical parameters as limit of detection, range, diagnostic sensitivity and specificity, and other figures of merits. Critical comparison between SERS and FTIR methods of analysis reveals that on average the reported sensitivity for biomarkers in biofluids for SERS vs FTIR is about 103 to 105 times higher, since LOD SERS are lower than LOD FTIR by about this factor. High sensitivity gives SERS an edge in detection of many biomarkers present in biofluids at low concentration (nM and sub nM), which can be particularly advantageous for example in early diagnostics of cancer or viral infections.HighlightsRaman, Infrared spectroscopies use low volume of biofluidic samples, little sample preparation, fast time of analysis and relatively inexpensive instrumentation.Applications of SERS may be a bit more complicated than applications of FTIR (e.g., limited shelf life for nanoparticles and substrates, etc.), but this can be generously compensated by much higher (by several order of magnitude) sensitivity in comparison to FTIR.High sensitivity makes SERS a noninvasive analytical method of choice for detection, quantification and diagnostics of many health conditions, metabolites, and drugs, particularly in diagnostics of cancer, including diagnostics of its early stages.FTIR, particularly ATR-FTIR can be a method of choice for efficient sensing of many biomarkers, present in urine, blood and other biofluids at sufficiently high concentrations (mM and even a few µM)Brillouin scattering spectroscopy detecting visco-elastic properties of probed liquid medium, may also find application in clinical analysis of some biofluids, such as cerebrospinal fluid and urine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-30
Number of pages30
JournalCritical Reviews in Analytical Chemistry
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Feb 14 2022


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