Biophotonics & Analytics: Improved inner ear diagnostics

Resonance Raman spectrum of proline in aqueous solution recorded at 266 nm.

The project „Improved inner ear diagnostics“ aims at the analysis of inner ear fluids (perilymph). The constituents of this liquid reveal pathophysiologically relevant parameters connected to hearing loss.

An optical technique is developed at HOT for investigating the perilymph via Raman scattering. This method enables a noninvasive and non-destructive examination of the constituents (e.g. proteins and their buildings blocks, the amino acids, see Figure 1). Another approach facilitates mass spectrometry for analyzing the perilymph at the Medizinische Hochschule Hannover.

The goal is to improve the diagnostics of inner ear hearing loss. The data obtained from Raman spectroscopy is compared with data from mass spectrometry to determine the correlation between spectral data and pathophysiological parameters. For the measurement of native samples in vivo, a fiber optic probe was developed, providing the physicians an additional tool for individual diagnostics.