We have designed and developed an optical fiber-probe for spectroscopic measurements on human tissues. The
experimental setup combines fluorescence spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy in a multidimensional approach.
Concerning fluorescence spectroscopy, the excitation is provided by two laser diodes, one emitting in the UV (378 nm)
and the other emitting in the visible (445 nm). These two lasers are used to selectively excite fluorescence from NADH
and FAD, which are among the brightest endogenous fluorophores in human tissues. For Raman and NIR spectroscopy,
the excitation is provided by a third laser diode with 785 nm excitation wavelength. Laser light is delivered to the tissue
through the central optical fiber of a fiber bundle. The surrounding 48 fibers of the bundle are used for collecting
fluorescence and Raman and for delivering light to the spectrograph. Fluorescence and Raman spectra are acquired on a
cooled CCD camera. The instrument has been tested on fresh human skin biopsies clinically diagnosed as malignant
melanoma, melanocytic nevus, or healthy skin, finding an optimal correlation with the subsequent histological exam. In
some cases our examination was not in agreement with the clinical observation, but it was with the histological exam,
demonstrating that the system can potentially contribute to improve clinical diagnostic capabilities and hence reduce the
number of unnecessary biopsies.