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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Environmental sciences, Dentistry, oral surgery and medicine

Publication Details

Journal of Biophotonics


This study demonstrates the efficacy of Raman micro-spectroscopy of oral cytological samples for differentiating dysplastic, potentially malignant lesions from those of normal, healthy donors. Cells were collected using brush biopsy from healthy donors (n = 20) and patients attending a Dysplasia Clinic (n = 20). Donors were sampled at four different sites (buccal mucosa, tongue, alveolus, gingiva), to ensure matched normal sites for all lesions, while patient samples were taken from clinically evident, histologically verified dysplastic lesions. Spectra were acquired from the nucleus and cytoplasm of individual cells of all samples and subjected to partial least squares-discriminant analysis. Discriminative sensitivities of 94% and 86% and specificity of 85% were achieved for the cytoplasm and nucleus, respectively, largely based on lipidic contributions of dysplastic cells. Alveolar/gingival samples were differentiated from tongue/buccal samples, indicating that anatomical site is potentially a confounding factor, while age, gender, smoking and alcohol consumption were confirmed not to be.



Science Foundation Ireland

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