Massachusetts Institute of Technology Spectroscopy Home   search
Research in Biomedical Optics

Non-Invasive Measurement of Blood Analytes using Raman spectroscopy


Blood analytes provide valuable information for the diagnosis of many diseases and abnormal health conditions. Development of painless and convenient methods for their measurement has received considerable attention. Glucose detection, in particular, has widespread implications in the control and management of diabetes. Disorders of glucose homeostasis, including types 1 and 2 diabetes, as well as gestational diabetes, represent a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. In the US, an estimated 2-5% of all pregnant women develop gestational diabetes, which can result in significant morbidity to the mother and the fetus if it goes undetected. The incidence of diabetes has been increasing at a significant rate and it currently stands as one of the leading cause of death in the United States ( Apart from the obvious detrimental effects of inadequate glucose regulation, diabetes can cause devastating complications such as hypoglycemia, ketoacidosis and nonketotic hyperosmolar coma. Serious long-term complications including cardiovascular disease, retinal and nerve damage may occur if the disease is not adequately controlled. As diabetes has no known cure, tight control of glucose levels is critical for its prevention. Regardless of the clinical test performed, withdrawal of blood or interstitial fluid is currently required for measurement of plasma glucose levels. Given the increasing number of diabetics worldwide, non-invasive measurement of blood or interstitial glucose level is highly desired for both point-of-care diagnostic testing and therapeutic monitoring.