Document Type

Theses, Ph.D


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


1.6 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, Biochemistry and molecular biology

Publication Details

Thesis successfully submitted for the award of PhD.


aman spectroscopy is a powerful tool that has the potential to be, used for cervical cancer screening. It is a label-free, low-cost method providing a biochemical fingerprint of a given sample. The objective of this thesis was to address issues associated with the application of Raman spectroscopy for cervical cancer screening and to demonstrate the potential for triage of HPV positive cases. The first study investigated hormonal effects due to the menstrual cycle, the use of hormone- based contraceptives (HC) and the onset of menopause on Raman spectra of cervical cells and determined if these changes would affect the ability to successfully identify dyskaryotic cells. Spectral changes were observed depending on the day of the menstrual cycle and on the use of HC. Despite this, high grade (HG) dyskaryotic cells could be discriminated from normal cells regardless of the day on which the sample was taken or the use of HC. The second study aimed to extend previous work on blood contamination of cervical smear samples and to investigate if excessively bloody samples could be rendered suitable for Raman spectroscopy. ThinPrep liquid based cytology (LBC) specimens were treated by adding hydrogen peroxide directly to the vial before slide preparation. Good discrimination between negative and HG cytology could be achieved for samples with no blood contamination (sensitivity 92%, specificity 93%) and heavy blood contamination (sensitivity 89%, specificity 88%) with poorer classification when samples were combined (sensitivity 82%, specificity 87%). The improved potential of Raman spectroscopy for analysis of ThinPrep specimens regardless of blood contamination was shown.