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Sensors 2016, 16(10), 1659; doi:10.3390/s16101659

An Infrared Absorbance Sensor for the Detection of Melanoma in Skin Biopsies

Institute for Microsensors, Actuators and Systems (IMSAS), MCB, University of Bremen, Bremen D-28359, Germany
Department of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna A-1090, Austria
Department of Pathology, University Hospital St. Poelten, Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences, St. Poelten A-3100, Austria
Department of Dermatology, University Hospital St. Poelten, Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences, St. Poelten A-3100, Austria
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Alexandre François, Al Meldrum and Nicolas Riesen
Received: 25 August 2016 / Revised: 24 September 2016 / Accepted: 28 September 2016 / Published: 10 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Label-Free Optical Biosensors)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [4036 KB, uploaded 10 October 2016]   |  


An infrared (IR) absorbance sensor has been designed, realized and tested with the aim of detecting malignant melanomas in human skin biopsies. The sensor has been designed to obtain fast measurements (80 s) of a biopsy using a small light spot (0.5 mm in diameter, typically five to 10 times smaller than the biopsy size) to investigate different biopsy areas. The sensor has been equipped with a monochromator to record the whole IR spectrum in the 3330–3570 nm wavelength range (where methylene and methyl stretching vibrations occur) for a qualitative spectral investigation. From the collected spectra, the CH2 stretch ratio values (ratio of the absorption intensities of the symmetric to asymmetric CH2 stretching peaks) are determined and studied as a cancer indicator. Melanoma areas exhibit different spectral shapes and significantly higher CH2 stretch ratios when compared to healthy skin. The results of the infrared investigation are compared with standard histology. This study shows that the IR sensor is a promising supportive tool to improve the diagnosis of melanoma during histopathological analysis, decreasing the risk of misdiagnosis. View Full-Text
Keywords: infrared sensor; absorbance spectroscopy; skin biopsy; melanoma infrared sensor; absorbance spectroscopy; skin biopsy; melanoma

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Fioravanti, V.; Brandhoff, L.; van den Driesche, S.; Breiteneder, H.; Kitzwögerer, M.; Hafner, C.; Vellekoop, M.J. An Infrared Absorbance Sensor for the Detection of Melanoma in Skin Biopsies. Sensors 2016, 16, 1659.

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