Accurate targeting of diseased and healthy tissue has significantly been improved by MRI/CT-based navigation systems. Recently, intraoperative MRI navigation systems have proven to be powerful tools for the guidance of the neurosurgical operations. However, the widespread use of such systems is held back by the costs, the time consumption during operation, and the need for MR-compatible surgical devices. Raman spectroscopy is a nondestructive optical technique that enables real-time tissue identification and classification and has proved to be a powerful diagnostic tool in a large number of studies. In the present report, we have investigated the possibility of distinguishing different brain structures by using a single fiber-optic probe to collect Raman scattered light in the high-wavenumber region of the spectrum. For the Raman measurements, 7 pig brains were sliced in the coronal plain and Raman spectra were obtained of 11-19 anatomical structures. Adjacent brain structures could be distinguished based on their Raman spectra, reflecting the differences in their biochemical composition and illustrating the potential Raman spectroscopy holds as a guidance tool during neurosurgical procedures.

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Journal Analytical Chemistry
Koljenović, S, Bakker Schut, T.C, Wolthuis, R, Vincent, A.J.P.E, Hendriks-Hagevi, G, Santos, L, … Puppels, G.J. (2007). Raman spectroscopic characterization of porcine brain tissue using a single fiber-optic probe. Analytical Chemistry, 79(2), 557–564. doi:10.1021/ac0616512