The incidence rates of cancers and other chronic diseases have been increasing in many regions and populations. There are more than 70,000 new cases of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as ulcerative colitis, diagnosed every year. Established diagnostic techniques for cancers and ulcerative colitis are invasive, cause discomfort, and are not cost-effective. The compliance rate for the screening of such diseases is very small due to this discomfort, expense, and the risk of complications. Thus, it is important to develop minimally invasive or noninvasive and cost-effective prescreening strategies.
Attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy accompanied with different data analysis frameworks can provide an excellent spectroscopic technology to extract biochemical information from bio-fluids which can lead to the identification of diseases. Results show that dried serum samples can be used to detect the biochemical changes induced by cancers and IBDs. This potential technology can be further developed into a noninvasive, personalized diagnostic tool in which patient-to-patient differences in molecular signatures would allow the assessment of disease status and personalized drug management.