Raman spectroscopy is a powerful tool for studying the biochemical composition of tissues and cells in the human body. We describe the initial results of a feasibility study to design and build a miniature, fiber optic probe incorporated into a standard hypodermic needle. This probe is intended for use in optical biopsies of solid tissues to provide valuable information of disease type, such as in the lymphatic system, breast, or prostate, or of such tissue types as muscle, fat, or spinal, when identifying a critical injection site. The optical design and fabrication of this probe is described, and example spectra of various ex vivo samples are shown.

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