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13 July 2004 Raman measurement of carotenoid composition in human skin
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The carotenoids lycopene and beta-carotene are powerful antioxidants in skin and are thought to act as scavengers for free radicals and singlet oxygen. The role of carotenoid species in skin health is of strong current interest. We demonstrate the possibility to use Resonance Raman spectroscopy for fast, non-invasive, highly specific, and quantitative detection of beta-carotene and lycopene in human skin. Analyzing Raman signals originating from the carbon-carbon double bond stretch vibrations of the carotenoid molecules under blue and green laser excitation, we were able to characterize quantitatively the relative concentrations of each carotenoid species in-vivo. In the selective detection, we take advantage of different Raman cross-section spectral profiles for beta-carotene and lycopene molecules, and obtain a quantitative assessment of individual long-chain carotenoid species in the skin rather than their cumulative levels. Preliminary dual-wavelength Raman measurements reveal significant differences in the carotenoid composition of different subjects. The technique holds promise for rapid screening of carotenoid compositions in human skin in large populations and may be suitable in clinical studies for assessing the risk for cutaneous diseases.
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Igor V. Ermakov, Maia R. Ermakova, and Werner Gellermann "Raman measurement of carotenoid composition in human skin", Proc. SPIE 5326, Optical Biopsy V, (13 July 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.529806;

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