Fast and label-free intraoperative discrimination of malignant pancreatic tissue by attenuated total reflection infrared spectroscopy

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



Significance: Pancreatic surgery is a highly demanding and routinely applied procedure for the treatment of several pancreatic lesions. The outcome of patients with malignant entities crucially depends on the margin resection status of the tumor. Frozen section analysis for intraoperative evaluation of tissue is still time consuming and laborious. Aim: We describe the application of fiber-based attenuated total reflection infrared (ATR IR) spectroscopy for label-free discrimination of normal pancreatic, tumorous, and pancreatitis tissue. A pilot study for the intraoperative application was performed. Approach: The method was applied for unprocessed freshly resected tissue samples of 58 patients, and a classification model for differentiating between the distinct tissue classes was established. Results: The developed three-class classification model for tissue spectra allows for the delineation of tumors from normal and pancreatitis tissues using a probability score for class assignment. Subsequently, the method was translated into intraoperative application. Fiber optic ATR IR spectra were obtained from freshly resected pancreatic tissue directly in the operating room. Conclusion: Our study shows the possibility of applying fiber-based ATR IR spectroscopy in combination with a supervised classification model for rapid pancreatic tissue identification with a high potential for transfer into intraoperative surgical diagnostics.


Original languageEnglish
Article number045004
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of biomedical optics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2023

External IDs

PubMed 37122477
WOS 000985185200006
ORCID /0000-0002-8160-3000/work/142248356
ORCID /0000-0003-0554-2178/work/142249920
ORCID /0000-0002-7625-343X/work/150881420



  • attenuated total reflection infrared, fiber-based spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy, pancreas, pancreatic tumor, Pancreatic tumor, Infrared spectroscopy, Attenuated total reflection infrared, Fiber-based spectroscopy, Pancreas, Pancreatitis/diagnostic imaging, Humans, Pancreatic Neoplasms/diagnostic imaging, Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared/methods, Pilot Projects, Spectrophotometry, Infrared