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Medical and Biomedical Applications

biomedical medical spectroscopy

Why Avantes for your (bio)Medical application?

  • Thermal stability of optical bench with 8 hour test validation

  • Ultra-low stray light design

  • Precise timing controls over instruments to ensure repeatable measurement procedures.

  • Option to separate electronics board and optical bench modules

  • High numerical aperture optical bench (HS) design for maximum light collection

Medical and Biomedical researchers and OEMs frequently utilise spectroscopy techniques for clinical and research processes.  Ultra-violet, visible and near infrared wavelength ranges are measured for a variety of medical and biomedical applications. Fibre optic based spectrometers offer a great value to the industry due to their ability to facilitate in situ (in vivo) measurements within clinical settings. The fibre optic interface is often exploited for low cost, disposable testing procedures. Low cost instruments also present the opportunity to bring the lab to the patient.


Biomedical analysis can benefit from the superior price to performance ratio realised with using fibre optic spectrometers in place of traditional, higher priced instruments and detectors. Avantes works with the Medical and Biomedical applications such as blood analysis (co-oximetry), endoscopy, tissue fluorescence, capillary electrophoresis, phototherapy and many others. Experiences in these industries range from OEM component supplier to research system configurator.

Avantes are also involved in projects like inSPECT, a European project which aims for real-time cancer diagnosis with miniature spectrometers. 

Co-Oximetry and Blood Analysis

Co-oximetry is a spectrophotometric methodology which employs Beer-Lambert law absorption principles to measure blood gas parameters. This analysis is typically done using in the visible light wavelength range (380-780nm).  The blood gas parameters which can be measured by co-oximetry include total hemoglobin (tHb), Oxyhomoglobin (O₂Hb), Deoxyhemoglobin (HHb), Methemoglobin (MetHb), Carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) and bilirubin (tBil).  Oxygen saturation in blood can also be measured by co-oximetry and this method is preferable to the use of SO₂c which is also known as calculated oxygen saturation.

Avantes AvaSpec ultra-low stray light spectrometers (ULS) are ideally suited to co-oximetry measurements.  Stray light can introduce undesirable error into spectroscopic measurements and there are few applications where error reduction is more critical than co-oximetry.  The AvaSpec-ULS design also provides critical thermal and mechanical stability which provides for critical wavelength stability in this application.  All Avantes instruments are thermally tested in a 8 hour thermal cycling test to ensure our instruments have wavelength stability over various temperature ranges.  The two most commonly used instruments for this application are the AvaSpec-ULS2048L-USB2 and AvaSpec-ULS2048-USB2.

fibre optic endoscope


Endoscopy is a diagnostic procedure which typically involves imaging of the upper gastrointensinal tract utlising a probe based system which is guided through the mouth into the stomach. During the traditional endoscopy procedure, specotrscopic measurements can be added in order to provide richer details to the clinician for diagnostic purposes.  Avantes works with a variety of researchers on endoscopic measurement to facilitate measurements during this procedure. The AvaSpec-HS2048XL-USB2 high sensitivity spectrometer has a proven track record for this application.  The typical measurements are reflectance based and cover the range from 300-800nm.  We offers a complete line of light sources to support the illumination requirements for endoscopy. The AvaLight-XE pulsed xenon source and the AvaLight-HAL-S tungsten halogen sources are available as housed independent sources or for integration as OEM modules.

Dermal Reflection/Fluorescence

Reflection measurements on skin an internal tissues can reveal a great deal of information which can aid in the diagnosis of conditions. One example of such measurement is the detection of advanced glycogen end products (AGEs) in patients using a dermal auto-fluorescence measurement.  Deep tissue reflection may also be measured in the near infrared (800-1100nm) to determine the effectiveness of radiation therapy at reducing cancerous masses.  Ultra violet and visble fluorescence may also be used in the detection of cancerous tissues.  We offers a number of high sensitivity, low stray light instruments for medical and biomedical detection.  The AvaSpec-HS2048XL back-thinned CCD and the TE cooled AvaSpec-HS1024X58-TEC operate over the range from 200-1100nm and both feature a 0.22 numerical aperture and back-thinned CCD detectors for optimal sensitivity. Fibre optic sampling facilitates measurement of small areas non-invasively.

dermal spectroscopy

All Avantes instruments are available as laboratory instruments in single channel housing , multi-channel "rackmount" housings and OEM modules. Requests for customization are welcome.

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