Raman spectroscopy is emerging as a promising and novel biophotonics tool for non-invasive, real-time diagnosis of tissue and cell abnormalities. However, the presence of a strong fluorescence background is a key issue that can detract from the use of Raman spectroscopy in routine clinical care. The review summarizes the state-of-the-art methods to remove the fluorescence background and explores recent achievements to address this issue obtained with modulated Raman spectroscopy. This innovative approach can be used to extract the Raman spectral component from the fluorescence background and improve the quality of the Raman signal. We describe the potential of modulated Raman spectroscopy as a rapid, inexpensive and accurate clinical tool to detect the presence of bladder cancer cells. Finally, in a broader context, we show how this approach can greatly enhance the sensitivity of integrated Raman spectroscopy and microfluidic systems, opening new prospects for portable higher throughput Raman cell sorting.
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