Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

A novel approach to noninvasively probe the composition of endogenous materials concealed deeply within mammalian tissue is presented. The method relies upon transmission Raman spectroscopy and permits the detailed characterization of the chemical composition of the probed volume. The technique has been enhanced by the deployment of chemometric methods and the use of a dielectric optical element at the surface to force escaping photons back into the tissue and, thus, enhance the relatively weak signals from the deeper tissue and its components. This permitted reaching both the clinically relevant depth and sufficient sensitivity in phantoms for the noninvasive identification of the calcification types associated with benign or malignant breast disease. Both calcium hydroxyapatite and calcium oxalate monohydrate have been chemically identified from depths of up to 2.7 cm within a breast phantom made up of porcine tissues. The technique has shown significant potential for probing human breasts to provide complementary data in the early diagnosis of breast cancer.

Original publication





Cancer research

Publication Date





4424 - 4430


Biophotonics Research Unit, Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, Gloucester, United Kingdom.


Humans, Breast Diseases, Spectrum Analysis, Raman, Female