Raman spectroscopy on blood serum samples of patients with end-stage liver disease

PLoS One. 2021 Sep 7;16(9):e0256045. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0256045. eCollection 2021.


Raman spectroscopy has shown to be a promising method for the examination of biomedical samples. However, until now, its efficacy has not been established in clinical diagnostics. In this study, Raman spectroscopy's potential application in medical laboratories is evaluated for a large variety (38) of biomarkers. Given 234 serum samples from a cohort of patients with different stages of liver disease, we performed Raman spectroscopy at 780nm excitation wavelength. The Raman spectra were analyzed in combination with the results of routine diagnostics using specifically developed complex mathematical algorithms, including fluorescence filtering, frequency subset selection and several overfitting circumventing strategies, such as independent validation. With the results of this cohort, which were validated in 328 independent samples, a significant proof-of-concept study was completed. This study highlights the need to prevent overfitting and to use independent data for validation. The results reveal that Raman spectroscopy has high potential for use in medical laboratory diagnostics to simultaneously quantify multiple biomarkers.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Algorithms
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • End Stage Liver Disease / blood*
  • End Stage Liver Disease / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Spectrum Analysis, Raman / methods


  • Biomarkers

Grants and funding

We did not receive any specific funding for this project.