Raman spectroscopy as a neuromonitoring tool in traumatic brain injury: a systematic review and clinical perspectives

Andrew Stevens, Clarissa A. Stickland, Georgia Harris, Zubair Ahmed, Pola Goldberg Oppenheimer, Antonio Belli, David J. Davies

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Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a significant global health problem, for which no disease-modifying therapeutics are currently available to improve survival and outcomes. Current neuromonitoring modalities are unable to reflect the complex and changing pathophysiological processes of the acute changes that occur after TBI. Raman spectroscopy (RS) is a powerful, label-free, optical tool which can provide detailed biochemical data in vivo. A systematic review of the literature is presented of available evidence for the use of RS in TBI. Seven research studies met the inclusion/exclusion criteria with all studies being performed in pre-clinical models. None of the studies reported the in vivo application of RS, with spectral acquisition performed ex vivo and one performed in vitro. Four further studies were included that related to the use of RS in analogous brain injury models, and a further five utilised RS in ex vivo biofluid studies for diagnosis or monitoring of TBI. RS is identified as a potential means to identify injury severity and metabolic dysfunction which may hold translational value. In relation to the available evidence, the translational potentials and barriers are discussed. This systematic review supports the further translational development of RS in TBI to fully ascertain its potential for enhancing patient care.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1227
Number of pages22
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This article presents independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre (a partnership between University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, the University of Birmingham, and the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine). The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, or the Department of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Raman spectroscopy
  • metabolic dysfunction
  • neuroinflammation
  • neuromonitoring
  • oxidative stress
  • point-of-care diagnostics
  • traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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