Maria Navas Thesis Defense 8/12/11

Thesis Defense

Maria Navas-Moreno

Friday, August 12, 2011
3:30pm (110 INSCC)

Title: Spectroscopy Techniques for Human Diseases Diagnosis


Modern medicine would benefit from the pursuit of new, more specific and easier to implement diagnosis tools.  In recent years Raman scattering, surface-enhanced Raman scattering, and fluorescence spectroscopy have proven to be successful diagnosis techniques of a wide range of diseases including atherosclerosis, kidney stones, bone diseases, diabetes, and a wide collection of neoplasms.  Optical spectroscopy has several advantages over more traditional diagnosis methods such as faster data analysis; non-specific sample preparation; non-specific labels/reagents/antibodies usage; and immediate on-site implementation.

In the present work, label-free surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectroscopy in vitro has been used to differentiate among blood cells of patients affected with myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) and healthy subjects.  The SERS technique has been also applied to hemoglobin variants and, to serum obtained from patients affected with chronic heart failure who positively or negatively responded to the seasonal influenza vaccine. 

Using SERS spectroscopy in combination with multivariate analysis, such as ‘principal component analysis’ and classification algorithms, such as ‘support vector machines’, we show that it is possible to distinguish among hemoglobin variants, as well as seasonal influenza vaccine responders and non-responders within chronic heart failure patients population.

The results presented here may have an extraordinary impact on the diagnostics of patients having Myeloproliferative Neoplasms, as well as on the health care management of patients affected with hemoglobinopathies and chronic heart failure.

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