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

Valeria Fioravanti, Lukas Brandhoff, Sander van den Driesche, Heimo Breiteneder, Melitta Kitzwögerer, Christine Hafner, Michael J Vellekoop

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

14 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1659
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2016


  • Biopsy/methods
  • Biosensing Techniques/methods
  • Humans
  • Melanoma/diagnosis
  • Skin/pathology
  • Absorbance spectroscopy
  • Melanoma
  • Skin biopsy
  • Infrared sensor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Instrumentation
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Biochemistry


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