Raman spectroscopy for label-free identification of calciphylaxis

William R. Lloyd, Shailesh Agarwal, Sagar U. Nigwekar, Karen Esmonde-White, Shawn Loder, Shawn Fagan, Jeremy Goverman, Bjorn R. Olsen, Dolrudee Jumlongras, Michael D. Morris*, Benjamin Levi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Calciphylaxis is a painful, debilitating, and premorbid condition, which presents as calcified vasculature and soft tissues. Traditional diagnosis of calciphylaxis lesions requires an invasive biopsy, which is destructive, time consuming, and often leads to exacerbation of the condition and infection. Furthermore, it is difficult to find small calcifications within a large wound bed. To address this need, a noninvasive diagnostic tool may help clinicians identify ectopic calcified mineral and determine the disease margin. We propose Raman spectroscopy as a rapid, point-of-care, noninvasive, and label-free technology to detect calciphylaxis mineral. Debrided calciphylactic tissue was collected from six patients and assessed by microcomputed tomography (micro-CT). Micro-CT confirmed extensive deposits in three specimens, which were subsequently examined with Raman spectroscopy. Raman spectra confirmed that deposits were consistent with carbonated apatite, consistent with the literature. Raman spectroscopy shows potential as a noninvasive technique to detect calciphylaxis in a clinical environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number080501
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Raman spectroscopy
  • calciphylaxis, near-infrared light
  • light scatter
  • tissues


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