Vibrational Biospectroscopy in the Clinical Setting: Exploring the Impact of New Advances in the Field of Immunology

Kannan, Siddarth, Callery, Emma L. and Rowbottom, Anthony (2023) Vibrational Biospectroscopy in the Clinical Setting: Exploring the Impact of New Advances in the Field of Immunology. Journal of Spectroscopy, 2023 . -. ISSN 2314-4920

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The investigation of pathological diseases largely relies on laboratory examinations. The ability to identify and characterise cells is an essential process for clinicians to reach an accurate diagnosis and inform appropriate treatments. There is currently a gap between the advancement of scientific knowledge on cellular and molecular pathways and the development of novel techniques capable of detecting subtle cellular changes associated with disease. Biospectroscopy is the use of spectroscopy techniques to investigate biological materials. Within a biological sample, important molecules such as lipids, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, and proteins are held together by chemical bonds; these bonds will vibrate following excitation with infrared light. By measuring the vibrational energy of each molecule present in a biological sample, a unique spectrum, known as the “molecular fingerprint” is generated. As disease-related changes in biological samples will be reflected in the molecular fingerprint, biospectroscopy is a well-placed candidate for the investigation of disease. Biospectroscopy has been gaining wider acceptance and application in the clinical setting over the past decade; however, it has yet to reach diagnostic laboratories and healthcare clinics as a routine platform for clinical assessment. Immunological disorders are complex, often demonstrating interaction across multiple molecular pathways which results in delayed diagnosis. Vibrational spectroscopy is being applied in many fields, and here we present a review of its use in cellular immunology. Potential benefits, including an enhanced definition of molecular processes and the use of spectroscopy in disease diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment response, are discussed. The translation of vibrational spectroscopic techniques into clinical practice offers rapid, noninvasive, and inexpensive methods to obtain information on the molecular composition of biological samples. The potential clinical benefits of biospectroscopy include providing a more prompt and accurate disease diagnosis, thus improving patient care and resulting in better health outcomes.

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