A low background Raman probe for optical biopsy of brain tissue

Oliver A. C. Stevens, Joanne Hutchings, William Gray, John C. Day

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

1 Citation (Scopus)


Removal of intrinsic brain tumours is a delicate process, where a high degree of specificity is required to remove all of the tumour tissue without damaging healthy brain. The accuracy of this process can be greatly enhanced by intraoperative guidance. Optical biopsies using Raman spectroscopy are a minimally invasive and lower cost alternative to current guidance methods. A miniature Raman probe for performing optical biopsies of human brain tissue is presented. The probe allows sampling inside a conventional stereotactic brain biopsy system: a needle of length 200mm and inner diameter of 1.8mm. The probe achieves a very low fluorescent background whilst maintaining good collection of Raman signal by employing a miniature stand-off Raman design. To illustrate this, the probe is compared with a Raman probe that uses a pair of optical fibres for collection. The miniature stand-off Raman probe is shown to collect a comparable number of Raman scattered photons, but the fluorescence caused by silica fibres in a Raman needle probe is reduced by a factor of two for Raman shifts under 500 cm-1, and by 30% at 600-700 cm-1. In addition, this design contains only medically approved materials at the distal end. The probe's suitability for use on tissue is demonstrated by discriminating between different types of porcine brain tissue.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of SPIE
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014


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