A near-infrared Raman system was developed to collect real-time in vivo human lung spectra. The excitation light and the emission were guided to and from the tissue surface by a reusable fiber catheter passed down the instrument channel of a bronchoscope. Two-stage filtering was used to reduce laser noise, fluorescence, and Raman emissions from the fibers. A second fiber bundle guided the emission to a spectrometer where the fibers, in a round packing geometry, were spread out to form a parabolic arc that improved the signal-to-noise ratio 20-fold, facilitating real-time spectral measurements. Preliminary clinical tests show that clear and reliable Raman spectra can be obtained.
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