Introducing discrete frequency infrared technology for high-throughput biofluid screening

Caryn Hughes, Graeme Clemens, Benjamin Bird, Timothy Dawson, Katherine M. Ashton, Michael D. Jenkinson, Andrew Brodbelt, Miles Weida, Edeline Fotheringham, Matthew Barre, Jeremy Rowlette, Matthew J. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)
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Accurate early diagnosis is critical to patient survival, management and quality of life. Biofluids are key to early diagnosis due to their ease of collection and intimate involvement in human function. Large-scale mid-IR imaging of dried fluid deposits offers a high-throughput molecular analysis paradigm for the biomedical laboratory. The exciting advent of tuneable quantum cascade lasers allows for the collection of discrete frequency infrared data enabling clinically relevant timescales. By scanning targeted frequencies spectral quality, reproducibility and diagnostic potential can be maintained while significantly reducing acquisition time and processing requirements, sampling 16 serum spots with 0.6, 5.1 and 15% relative standard deviation (RSD) for 199, 14 and 9 discrete frequencies respectively. We use this reproducible methodology to show proof of concept rapid diagnostics; 40 unique dried liquid biopsies from brain, breast, lung and skin cancer patients were classified in 2.4 cumulative seconds against 10 non-cancer controls with accuracies of up to 90%.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20173
Number of pages8
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2016


  • applied optics
  • bioanalytical chemistry
  • diagnostic markers


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