Raman and SERS recognition of β-carotene and haemoglobin fingerprints in human whole blood

Michele Casella, Andrea Lucotti, Matteo Tommasini, Marzia Bedoni, Elena Forvi, Furio Gramatica, Giuseppe Zerbi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present work reports on Raman and Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) vibrational fingerprints of β-carotene and haemoglobin in fresh whole blood (i.e. right after blood test) with different laser excitations, i.e. visible (514 nm) and near-infrared (NIR, 785 nm). The use of colloidal silver nanoparticles significantly increases the Raman signal, thus providing a clear SERS spectrum of blood. The collected spectra have been examined and marker bands of β-carotene and of the haem prosthetic group of haemoglobin have been found. In particular, the fundamental features of β-carotene (514 nm excitation), blood proteins and haem molecules (785 nm excitation) were recognized and assigned. Moreover haemoglobin SERS signals can be identified and related with its oxygenation state (oxy-haemoglobin). The data reported show the prospects of Raman and SERS techniques to detect important bio-molecules in a whole blood sample with no pre-treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)915-919
Number of pages5
JournalSpectrochimica Acta - Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2011


  • β-Carotene
  • Haemoglobin
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS)
  • Whole blood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy


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