Confocal Raman microspectroscopy of the skin.Eur J Dermatol. 2011 Nov-Dec; 21(6):851-63.EJ
Confocal Raman spectroscopy is a technique with considerable potential for the non-invasive study of biological tissues and skin samples in vitro or in vivo. It can be used to study skin physiology and possible pathological conditions and to obtain data about molecular composition and the structure of skin, for example, water content, moisturization and changes in the skin barrier function can all be observed. In-depth measurements also allow biopharmaceutical studies, such as analyzing the rate of penetration of a drug and the biochemical changes that may be induced by an applied formulation. Confocal Raman microspectroscopy is now at such a stage of refinement that it opens up new vistas. The big leap forward in its ease of use enables this technology to be used as an analytical method by more and more non-specialist laboratories. This review gives an overview of the state of the art of this technology by presenting an update on the principles of Raman spectroscopy and then by looking at examples of new developments in in vivo and in vitro applications.