Raman spectroscopy in the diagnosis of cervical cancer

team photo of five

This project aims to develop a novel tool for cervical cancer screening based on low resolution Raman spectroscopy.

Raman spectroscopy is a powerful tool that can generate a biochemical fingerprint of a sample in a rapid and non-destructive manner. A large library of Raman spectra from a wide sample base including all grades of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN I, II and III) is being recorded and used to develop an algorithm which can classify unknown spectra based on biochemical changes corresponding to disease onset. The Raman system was developed in progenitor projects, and could discriminate normal and abnormal cervical cytology samples based on the biochemical fingerprint of the cells with high sensitivity and specificity.

Dr. Lyng, together with her colleagues at the Radiation and Environmental Science Centre at the Focas Institute in DIT and collaborators at the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital aim to develop a second generation Raman system, Cervassist, capable of detecting both HPV infection and cellular abnormalities related to cervical intraepithelial neoplasia in exfoliated cervical cells on the same Thinprep slide.

Enterprise Ireland, who have funded the development of this technology for five years, awarded Dr. Fiona Lyng of Dublin Institute of Technology their 2011 “One to Watch” award for her role in the development of this innovation.