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A Detection limits for Raman spectroscopy

  1. Jan 7, 2017 #1
    This may be a completely terrible question, but does someone have an idea on the detection capabilities for raman spectroscopy of a bulk sample like human tissue (hair, blood, skin, anything)?

    I thought it might be fun to see if it were possible to use raman to identify exposures to chemicals like bisphenol-A etc by measuring a tissue sample, but I did not know if this was too far beyond current capabilities.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 9, 2017 #2
    The bulk limiting factor is the ability to penetrate the sample, and in forensic applications you would be using near and mid-IR spectroscopy to achieve this. The other main question is efficiency, vibrational spectroscopy methods like this don't require labeling or staining of the biomaterial but instead specialists who are able to apply the mathematical tools and time necessary to interpret the large amount of data. Would it be possible though, definitely. Methods for applying Raman spectroscopy to tissue samples in forensic science have been around for decades and the Raman spectra of bisphenol-A is wholly studied.
  4. Jan 10, 2017 #3
    Thanks for your reply!

    The penetration depth is obviously an issue, but that would correspond with an increase in any minuimum detection limit. Is there any good examples of studies looking at certain concentrations of a chemical in human tissue? For environmental exposures in general, you would have very low concentrations of ppm or ppb levels.
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