In vivo Raman spectroscopy, using fiber-optic probes is hindered by the intense background signal, which is generated in the fused-silica fibers, in the fingerprint region of the Raman spectrum (∼0-2000 cm-1). Optical filtering is necessary to obtain tissue spectra of sufficient quality. The complexity of fiber-optic probes for fingerprint Raman spectroscopy, in combination with size constraints and flexibility requirements for in vivo use have been a major obstacle in the development of in vivo diagnostic tools based on Raman spectroscopy. A setup for remote Raman spectroscopic tissue characterization in the high-wavenumber region (∼2400-3800 cm-1) is presented. It makes use of a single, unfiltered, optical fiber for guiding laser light to the sample and for collecting scattered light and guiding it back to a spectrometer. Such a simple configuration is possible because the fused-silica core and cladding of the fiber present almost no Raman background signal at these wavenumbers. Several commercially available optical fibers were tested with respect to Raman signal background, to determine their suitability for in vivo Raman spectroscopy measurements in the high-wavenumber region. Different fiber core, cladding, and coating materials were tested. Silica core-silica clad fibers, with an acrylate coating and a black nylon jacket, proved to be one of the best candidates. In vitro measurements on brain tissue of a 6-month-old pig were obtained with a remote high-wavenumber Raman setup. They illustrate the low background signal generated in the setup and the signal quality obtained with a collection time of 1 s.

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Journal Analytical Chemistry
Santos, L, Wolthuis, R, Koljenović, S, Almeida, R.M, & Puppels, G.J. (2005). Fiber-optic probes for in vivo Raman spectroscopy in the high-wavenumber region. Analytical Chemistry, 77(20), 6747–6752. doi:10.1021/ac0505730