Raman spectroscopy using plasmonic and carbon-based nanoparticles for cancer detection, diagnosis, and treatment guidance.Part 1: Diagnosis

Drug Metab Rev. 2017 May;49(2):212-252. doi: 10.1080/03602532.2017.1302465. Epub 2017 Jun 15.


Optical techniques, including Raman, photothermal and photoacoustic microscopy and spectroscopy, have been intensively explored for the sensitive and accurate detection of various diseases. Rapid advances in lasers, photodetectors, and nanotechnology have led to the development of Raman spectroscopy, particularly surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), as a promising imaging modality that can help diagnose many diseases. This review focuses on the major recent advances in Raman spectroscopy and SERS-enhancing contrast nanoagents, as well as their potential to transition from a proof-of-concept approach to a cancer detection tool in vitro and in vivo.

Keywords: Cancer; Raman; SERS; carbonaceous; detection; diagnosis; nanotechnology; plasmonic.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Nanoparticles*
  • Nanotubes, Carbon*
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Spectrum Analysis, Raman / methods*
  • Surface Plasmon Resonance / methods


  • Nanotubes, Carbon