Raman Spectroscopy Helps Fighting COVID-19

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Since March 2020 Raman Spectroscopy has attracted a lot of attention among scientists who joined the war against COVID-19. Raman or vibrational spectroscopy offers a powerful technique for observing molecular changes within analyte. Variations of the technique, such as SERS (Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering) or TERS (Tip Enhanced Raman Scattering) offer further insights into a low concentration or trace analysis.
The goal of this article is to review the latest scientific publications where Raman Spectroscopy is used for medical research battling COVID-19 – one of the biggest threats to human health in the 21st century.

It has been a while now since scientists started to demonstrate that Raman and various enhancement techniques can be successfully and efficiently applied for the detection of various types of viruses. Use of anti-Stokes Raman together with TERS:


With the outbreak of COVID-19, scientists paid extra attention to the utilization of various techniques, and Raman again attracted a lot of attention.

A group of s scientists in the Northern Arizona University received a grant to develop SERS substrates as a testing aid for fast COVID-19 detection:

Another group from Beihang University published a database of Raman spectra of COVID-19 infected and healthy patients and intend of using SERS enhancement technique together with machine learning to analyze these samples: 


A group led by Mauricio Terrones from Pennsylvania State University is researching the detection of viruses trapped between carbon nanotubes in a microfluidic device for saliva or a blow-through device. The ultimate goal is to use machine learning in order to digest the complex spectral information and enable fast identification and good accuracy, a combination, which is not offered by the methods which are currently in use:

Horiba cooperates with the University Hospital of Montpellier aiming to establish a Raman-based screening of CRP inflammatory marker, trying to quickly determine the condition of an infected patient in terms of how urgent hospitalization is needed and where only homecare is needed:

Authors from the Tsinghua University, the Research Institute for Environmental Innovation, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have published a scientific paper about using nano-rod silver SERS substrates for the detection of COVID-19 in the environment. The achievement promises good perspectives in developing fast and accurate screening tool, which would help to fight COVID-19 pandemic:

To be continuously updated…

Integrated Optics contributes to the topic by providing high-performance laser sources for Raman Spectroscopy, silver and gold SERS substrates, and high power spectrally-stabilized laser sources for portable and industrial Raman instrumentation.

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