Raman Spectroscopy, the next great diagnosis innovation

Written by on October 5, 2010 in laser therapy, Metrogel 1%, Rosacea Moisturizer with 1 Comment

raman-spectroscopy

Some press this week about an emerging diagnostic technology known as Raman Spectroscopy. Raman Spectroscopy looks at the way that light scatters when it interacts with different molecules. The technology can analyse the scatter patterns to determine exacting details to do with the chemical makeup of the tissue being examined.

The article suggests that Raman Spectroscopy can be used in a whole new range of ways in a diagnostic role.

Read on to find out how, in fact, this emerging technology has already been used in the development of rosacea treatments.

Painless laser device could spot early signs of disease

By Katia Moskvitch

Science reporter, BBC News

Portable devices with painless laser beams could soon replace X-rays as a non-invasive way to diagnose disease.

Researchers say that the technique could become widely available in about five years.

The method, called Raman spectroscopy, could help spot the early signs of breast cancer, tooth decay and osteoporosis.

Scientists believe that the technology would make the diagnosis of illnesses faster, cheaper and more accurate.

Raman spectroscopy is the measurement of the intensity and wavelength of scattered light from molecules.

It is already being used in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. For instance, Raman lasers are used to measure flame characteristics. By studying how fuels burn, pollution from the products of combustion can be minimised.

When a person is sick, or about to become sick, the chemical mix in the tissue is quite different from that in healthy tissue, scientists say. So the Raman spectrum changes depending on the tissue it analyses, Professor Morris explained.

“Raman gives you a molecular fingerprint, a composition of whatever it is you’re measuring,” he said.

“In diseased states, the chemical composition is either slightly abnormal or very markedly abnormal, depending upon the diseases.”

How Raman is already being used

The application of Raman Spectroscopy to topical therapies is one example of where this new technology might lead to new products and treatments that are good for rosacea sufferers.

Indeed Raman has already been used to help understand how topical products interact with human skin.

Moisturizer Hydration

Rosacea News first mentioned this technology in 2006 in a study that attempted to measure how effectively the skin’s stratum corneum is hydrated by moisturizers. The 2006 study was interested in formulations of moisturizers that contain niacinamide (Vitamin B3). The sponsors of the study, Proctor & Gamble manufacture several products in the Olay Total Effects range that contain niacinamide. Additionally the new formulation of 1% Metrogel contains niacinamide.

RS was used to obtain accurate measurements of the amount of moisture in the stratum corneum.

Metrogel Absorption

Two studies featured by Rosacea News in 2007 looked at the way that metronidazole was absorbed by the skin.

metrogel: how it gets into your skin

Confocal Raman microspectroscopy is a nondestructive and rapid technique which allows information to be obtained from deep layers under the skin surface, giving the possibility of a real-time tracking of the drug in the skin layers. The specific Raman signature of the drug enables its identification in the skin. In this study, we try to follow the penetration of Metronidazole, a drug produced by Galderma as a therapeutic agent for Rosacea treatment, through the skin.

This technology allowed 6 different formulations of metronidazole to be evaluated. Then penetration of the cream formulations was found to be greater than the lotion and gel formulations.

The application of RS here will open the door to far more accurate analysis of topicals, ensuring that the correct vehicle will deliver the active ingredients to the tissue that will show maximum benefit.

The Future

Imagine if Raman Spectroscropy could be used to accurately diagnose rosacea. What a great achievement that would be. We can but dream.

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About the Author

About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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1 Reader Comment

  1. Barbara Ruiz says:

    My daughter who just turned 10 has been dealing with zits, redness, eye issues for over 6 years now! Has had 3 surgeries for Chalazia’s her 1st one at age 4 in preschool. Then they finally said she had blepharitis and cornea infiltrates in 3rd grade… but said nothing of Rosacea. She went to get eye glasses this yr and he said she has Rosacea. Why didn’t any family doctors or the Opthamologist tell us of this. Poor child gets asked why is your nose like that or your eyes. Where do I go from here? Please help! Thank you Barbara

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