Present techniques for prenatal diagnosis are invasive and present significant risks of fetal loss. Noninvasive prenatal diagnosis utilizing fetal nucleated red blood cells (fNRBC) circulating in maternal peripheral blood has received attention, since it poses no risk to the fetus. However, because of the failure to find broadly applicable identifiers that can differentiate fetal from adult NRBC, reliable detection of viable fNRBC in amounts sufficient for clinical use remains a challenge. In this Letter we show that fNRBC light-scattering spectroscopic signatures may lead to a clinically useful method of minimally invasive prenatal genetic testing.
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