Near-infrared Raman spectroscopy with a 782-nm cw laser was used to examine lymph node biopsy specimens from women with ruptured breast implants containing silicone gel. For reduction of fluorescence and sample radiation damage, a low-power (30 mW) Ti: sapphire laser, single-stage spectrograph, and CCD detector were employed. Silicone Raman features were clearly visible in lymph node tissue of patients with leaking implants, and the spectra were easily distinguished from those of normal lymph node tissue. The technique has promise for medical diagnostic purposes, and may be amenable to <i>in vivo</i> analysis with adaptation to a fiber-optic probe.
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