Fiber Optic Probe for Deep Non-Invasive Raman Spectroscopy



Background: Raman spectroscopy has become an important analytical and research tool in many areas including the pharmaceutical industry, materials science, and forensic science. It is also an emerging technology in the medical imaging field for early detection of cancers, identification of pathogens, and analysis of biomarkers in blood. 


Current Challenges: Conventional Raman spectroscopy is limited by shallow analysis depth and resolution variability based on sampling container transparency.  By separating the excitation and collection units (ΔS), spatially offset Raman spectroscopy (SORS) has extended the analysis range to greater depths and allows Raman analysis to be performed through various materials (e.g. glass, plastics, and skin).  However, the depth of analysis for many Raman spectrometers, including SORS based, is still restricted due to size limitations of SORS probes.  In addition, many SORS probes have a fixed depth range (fixed ΔS) limiting the end-users’ ability to alter the analysis depth quickly without complicated calibration or operation procedures.


The Technology: Drs. Xiaohong Bi and Zhiyong Wang at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston have developed a new cost-effective and space efficient iris-based SORS probe.  The iris-based probe has six mechanically synchronized collection fiber tubes arranged around a central illumination tube, for variable depth Raman analysis up to 4 centimeters.  Typically multi-fiber probes require complicated calibration procedures; however the iris-based mechanical Raman probe employs only one set of collection units, alleviating the need for complicated calibration or onerous operation procedures.


Technology Highlights:

•       Extends SORS analysis to a depth of up to 4 centimeters

•       Can be incorporated into existing portable or table-top Raman spectrometer systems

•       May also be used as a platform for surfaced-enhanced spatial offset Raman spectroscopy (SESORS)

•       Is compatible for post-capture data processing techniques

•       May be utilized with other spectrophotometric and optical imaging techniques including fluorescence imaging


UTHealthRef. No(s): 2013-0062

Inventor(s):  Drs. Xiaohong Bi and Zhiyong Wang

Patent Status:  Provisional patent application filed

License Available:  World-wide exclusive or non-exclusive



Opt Lett. 2014 Jul 1;39(13):3790-3. doi: 10.1364/OL.39.003790.


Patent Information:

The preceding is intended to be a non-confidential and limited description of a novel technology created at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). This promotional material is not comprehensive in scope and should not replace company’s diligence in a thorough evaluation of the technology. Please contact the Office of Technology Management for more information regarding this technology.
Medical Devices
For Information, Contact:
Hannah Nelson
Senior Technology License Associate
University of Texas Health Science Center At Houston
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