Sci Rep 2018 05 30;8(1):8379. Epub 2018 May 30.
School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Exeter, Streatham Campus, EX4 4QL, Exeter, UK.
Optical properties of biological tissues can be influenced by their temperature, thus affecting light transport inside the sample. This could potentially be exploited to deliver more photons inside large biological samples, when compared with experiments at room temperature, overcoming some of difficulties due to highly scattering nature of the tissue. Here we report a change in light transmitted inside biological tissue with temperature elevation from 20 to 40 °C, indicating a considerable enhancement of photons collected by the detector in transmission geometry. The measurement of Raman signals in porcine tissue samples, as large as 40 mm in thickness, indicates a considerable increase in signal ranging from 1.3 to 2 fold, subject to biological variability. The enhancements observed are ascribed to phase transitions of lipids in biological samples. This indicates that: 1) experiments performed on tissue at room temperature can lead to an underestimation of signals that would be obtained at depth in the body in vivo and 2) that experiments at room temperature could be modified to increase detection limits by elevating the temperature of the material of interest.