Infrared fiberoptic evanescent wave spectroscopy: Applications in biology and medicine

N. Afanasyeva, R. Bruch, A. Katzir

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


A new powerful and highly sensitive technique for non-invasive biomedical diagnostics in vivo has been developed using Infrared Fiberoptic Evanescent Wave Fourier Transform Spectroscopy (FEW-FTIR). This compact and portable method allows to detect functional chemical groups and bonds via vibrational spectroscopy directly from surfaces including living tissue. Such differences and similarities in molecular structure of tissue and materials can be evaluated online. Operating in the attenuated total reflection (ATR) regime in the middle-infrared (MIR) range, the FEW-FTIR technique provides direct contact between the fiber probe and tissue for non-destructive, non-invasive, fast and remote (few meters) diagnostics and quality control of materials. This method utilizes highly flexible and extremely low loss unclad fibers, for example silver halide fibers. Applications of this method include investigations of normal skin, precancerous and cancerous conditions, monitoring of the process of aging, allergic reactions and radiation damage to the skin. This setup is suitable as well for the detection of the influence of environmental factors (sun, water, pollution, and weather) on skin surfaces. The FEW-FTIR technique is very promising also for fast histological examinations in vitro. In this review, we present recent investigations of skill, breast, lung, stomach, kidney tissues in vivo and ex vivo (during surgery) to define the areas of tumor localization. The main advantages of the FEW-FTIR technique for biomedical, clinical, and environmental applications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-164
Number of pages13
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 1999 Specialty Fiber Optics for Medical Applications - San Jose, CA, USA
Duration: 24 Jan 199925 Jan 1999


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