• tissue Raman spectra;
  • background subtraction;
  • range-independent algorithm;
  • iterative smoothing;
  • moving point average

An important requirement for the use of Raman spectroscopy for tissue diagnostic applications is an appropriate algorithm that can faithfully retrieve weak tissue Raman signals from the measured raw Raman spectra. Although iterative modified polynomial-fitting-based automated algorithms are widely used, these are sensitive to the choice of the fitting range, thereby leading to significantly different Raman spectra for different start and stop wavenumber selection. We report here an algorithm for automated recovery of the weak Raman signal, which is range independent. Given a raw Raman spectrum and the choice of the start and the stop wavenumbers, the algorithm first truncates the spectrum to include the raw data within this wavenumber range, linearly extrapolates the truncated raw spectrum beyond the points of truncation on the two sides by using coefficients of linear least-square fit, adds two Gaussian peaks of appropriate height and width on the extrapolated linear wings on either side and then iteratively smoothens the data with all these add-ons such that the smaller of the ordinate values of the smoothed and the starting raw data serve as the input to each successive round of iterative smoothing until the added Gaussian peaks are fully recovered. The algorithm was compared with the modified polynomial-based algorithms using mathematically simulated Raman spectrum as well as experimentally measured Raman spectra from various biological samples and was found to yield consistently range-independent and artifact-free Raman signal with zero baseline. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.