Review Article

Lasers in Medical Science

, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 673-687

First online:

Prospects for laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy for biomedical applications: a review

  • Vivek Kumar SinghAffiliated withSchool of Physics, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University
  • , Awadhesh Kumar RaiAffiliated withLaser Spectroscopy Research Laboratory, Department of Physics, University of Allahabad Email author 

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We review the different spectroscopic techniques including the most recent laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) for the characterization of materials in any phase (solid, liquid or gas) including biological materials. A brief history of the laser and its application in bioscience is presented. The development of LIBS, its working principle and its instrumentation (different parts of the experimental set up) are briefly summarized. The generation of laser-induced plasma and detection of light emitted from this plasma are also discussed. The merit and demerits of LIBS are discussed in comparison with other conventional analytical techniques. The work done using the laser in the biomedical field is also summarized. The analysis of different tissues, mineral analysis in different organs of the human body, characterization of different types of stone formed in the human body, analysis of biological aerosols using the LIBS technique are also summarized. The unique abilities of LIBS including detection of molecular species and calibration-free LIBS are compared with those of other conventional techniques including atomic absorption spectroscopy, inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy and mass spectroscopy, and X-ray fluorescence.


Laser LIBS Elemental analysis technique Biomaterials