Raman scanner takes antioxidant snapshot in seconds

A 90-second, noninvasive test using the palm of a person's hand can yield a snapshot of carotenoid levels (an antioxidant that protects cells from damage caused by free radicals) and indicate overall nutritional health. Done by the Pharmanex BioPhotonic Scanner from Nu Skin (Provo, UT), the test gathers data that, in turn, can help to ward off certain types of disease.

Nu Skin's Pharmanex BioPhotonic Scanner measures carotenoid—-a type of antioxidant—in a person's skin tissue, and does so in less than two minutes thanks to dual-wavelength excitation via LEDs
Nu Skin's Pharmanex BioPhotonic Scanner measures carotenoid—-a type of antioxidant—in a person's skin tissue, and does so in less than two minutes thanks to dual-wavelength excitation via LEDs. (Image courtesy of Nu Skin)

Scientists at the University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT) originally developed the device as they studied eye health, using a laser and spectrometer in their equipment, says Jocelyn Shaw, public relations at Nu Skin. In 2001, the company bought the rights to the technology and improved it by making it smaller, portable, and with a better light source. The resonance Raman spectroscopy-based scanner measures carotenoid levels using two light-emitting diodes (LEDs) for dual-wavelength excitation: When a 473 nm photon comes into contact with a carotenoid, it becomes a 510 nm photon. Other components of the scanner include four photomultiplier tubes for multichannel detection, and bandpass filters to enable selection of excitation and detection wavelengths.1 What's more, the scanner measures with >10% repeatability.

High amounts of free radicals are caused by environmental pollution, unbalanced diets, preservatives and additives in food, insufficient physical exercise, mental stress, and even breathing. So when carotenoid levels are left unchecked, free radical damage to cells accumulates and can lead to serious health concerns later—including cancer, heart disease, and macular degeneration.

Anthony M. Vernava III, a staff physician in colorectal surgery at Physicians Regional Healthcare System (Naples, FL), calls the carotenoid scan "a valuable biomarker, incredibly accurate, as good as a tissue biopsy, and as important as serum levels."

1. S. D. Bergeson et al., J. Biomed. Opt., 13, 4, 044026 (2008).

More BioOptics World Current Issue Articles
More BioOptics World Archives Issue Articles

Get All the BioOptics World News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to BioOptics World Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now
Related Articles

Merz acquires laser tattoo removal device maker ON Light Sciences

Merz North America has acquired ON Light Sciences, which develops technologies to enhance laser-based dermatology procedures.

Shortwave-infrared device could improve ear infection diagnosis

An otoscope-like device that could improve ear infection diagnosis uses shortwave-infrared light instead of visible light.

Laser therapy extracts rare tumor that grew human hair, skin in boy's skull

About four years ago, a tumor comprised of human skin, hair, bone and cartilage was fast-growing inside a Ramsey, MN, 10-year-old youth's brain.

Low-level laser therapy could speed muscle recovery at Rio 2016 Olympics

The gold medal-winning women’s U.S. Gymnastics team is reportedly experimenting with infrared light therapy to alleviate pain and reduce swelling in its athletes. (Update: A spokesperson for ...
BLOGS

Neuro15 exhibitors meet exacting demands: Part 2

Increasingly, neuroscientists are working with researchers in disciplines such as chemistry and p...

Why be free?

A successful career contributed to keeping OpticalRayTracer—an optical design software program—fr...

LASER Munich 2015 is bio-bent

LASER World of Photonics 2015 included the European Conferences on Biomedical Optics among its si...

White Papers

Understanding Optical Filters

Optical filters can be used to attenuate or enhance an image, transmit or reflect specific wavele...

How can I find the right digital camera for my microscopy application?

Nowadays, image processing is found in a wide range of optical microscopy applications. Examples ...

CONNECT WITH US

            

Twitter- BioOptics World

Copyright © 2007-2016. PennWell Corporation, Tulsa, OK. All Rights Reserved.PRIVACY POLICY | TERMS AND CONDITIONS