Surface-enhanced Raman scattering in cancer detection and imaging

Trends Biotechnol. 2013 Apr;31(4):249-57. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2013.01.013. Epub 2013 Feb 15.


Technologies that use surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) have experienced significant growth in biomedical research during the past 4 years. In this review we summarize the progress in SERS for cancer diagnostics, including multiplexed detection and identification of new biomarkers, single-nucleotide polymorphisms, and circulating tumor cells. SERS is also used as a non-invasive tool for cancer imaging with immunoSERS microscopy, histological analysis of biopsies, and in vivo detection of tumors. We discuss the future of SERS probes compatible with multiple imaging modalities and their potential for clinical translation (e.g., endoscope-based and intraoperative imaging as tools for surgical guidance). Moreover, we highlight the potential of SERS agents for targeted drug delivery and photothermal therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Spectrum Analysis, Raman / methods*