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Proceedings Paper

Raman spectroscopy of non-penetrating peripheral nerve damage in swine: a tool for spectral pathology of nerves
Author(s): Katherine E. Cilwa; Tiffani Slaughter; Eric A. Elster; Jonathan A. Forsberg; Nicole J. Crane
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Paper Abstract

Over 30% of combat injuries involve peripheral nerve injury compared to only 3% in civilian trauma. In fact, nerve dysfunction is the second leading cause of long-term disability in injured service members and is present in 37% of upper limb injuries with disability. Identification and assessment of non-penetrating nerve injury in trauma patients could improve outcome and aid in therapeutic monitoring. We report the use of Raman spectroscopy as a noninvasive, non-destructive method for detection of nerve degeneration in intact nerves due to non-penetrating trauma. Nerve trauma was induced via compression and ischemia/reperfusion injury using a combat relevant swine tourniquet model (>3 hours ischemia). Control animals did not undergo compression/ischemia. Seven days post-operatively, sciatic and femoral nerves were harvested and fixed in formalin. Raman spectra of intact, peripheral nerves were collected using a fiber-optic probe with 3 mm diameter spot size and 785 nm excitation. Data was preprocessed, including fluorescence background subtraction, and Raman spectroscopic metrics were determined using custom peak fitting MATLAB® scripts. The abilities of bivariate and multivariate analysis methods to predict tissue state based on Raman spectroscopic metrics are compared. Injured nerves exhibited changes in Raman metrics indicative of 45% decreased myelin content and structural damage (p<<0.01). Axonal and myelin degeneration, cell death and digestion, and inflammation of nerve tissue samples were confirmed via histology. This study demonstrates the non-invasive ability of Raman spectroscopy to detect nerve degeneration associated with non-penetrating injury, relevant to neurapraxic and axonotmetic injuries; future experiments will further explore the clinical utility of Raman spectroscopy to recognize neural injury.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 March 2015
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 9328, Imaging, Manipulation, and Analysis of Biomolecules, Cells, and Tissues XIII, 93280T (2 March 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2079764
Show Author Affiliations
Katherine E. Cilwa, Naval Medical Research Ctr. (United States)
Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine (United States)
Tiffani Slaughter, Uniformed Services Univ. of the Health Sciences (United States)
Eric A. Elster, Uniformed Services Univ. of the Health Sciences (United States)
Walter Reed National Military Medical Ctr. (United States)
Jonathan A. Forsberg, Naval Medical Research Ctr. (United States)
Uniformed Services Univ. of the Health Sciences (United States)
Walter Reed National Military Medical Ctr. (United States)
Nicole J. Crane, Naval Medical Research Ctr. (United States)
Uniformed Services Univ. of the Health Sciences (United States)
Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9328:
Imaging, Manipulation, and Analysis of Biomolecules, Cells, and Tissues XIII
Daniel L. Farkas; Dan V. Nicolau; Robert C. Leif, Editor(s)

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