Vibrational spectroscopy of biofluids for disease screening or diagnosis: translation from the laboratory to a clinical setting



There remains a need for objective and cost-effective approaches capable of diagnosing early-stage disease in point-of-care clinical settings. Given an increasingly ageing population resulting in a rising prevalence of chronic diseases, the need for screening to facilitate the personalising of therapies to prevent or slow down pathology development will increase. Such a tool needs to be robust but simple enough to be implemented into clinical practice. There is interest in extracting biomarkers from biofluids (e.g., plasma or serum); techniques based on vibrational spectroscopy provide an option. Sample preparation is minimal, techniques involved are relatively low-cost, and data frameworks are available. This review explores the evidence supporting the applicability of vibrational spectroscopy to generate spectral biomarkers of disease in biofluids. We extend the inter-disciplinary nature of this approach to hypothesise a microfluidic platform that could allow such measurements. With an appropriate lightsource, such engineering could revolutionize screening in the 21st century. (© 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)