Molecular Spectroscopic Medicine Comes To St. Louis

At Environmental Health & Allergy Center (EHAC-St. Louis)


Epigenomics-3: Deciphering how Environmental Factors & Your Personal Choices Influence Your Genetic Code (Genome)


by Nihal S. DeSilva, PhD

and Tipu Sultan, MD

Environmental Health & Allergy Center

In our earlier articles we have indicated to you the importance of Epigenomics in preventive medicine. In this discussion we like to enlighten you with the rapidly advancing technology of Raman Laser Spectroscopy (RLS), a molecular vibrational method to pinpoint  preventive  Biomarkers of health & disease (DeSilva, 1999). Thus we would like to indicate that RLS has come to EHAC in a big way in the acquisition  of a State-of–the-Art Raman instrument (Grant pending) with fiber optic capability to investigate  &  diagnose many of the epigenetic  diseases  of our times.

Early detection of epigenetic  changes  in preventive medicine require that we demonstrate unequivocally certain disease Biomarkers in our cells and tissues by the non-invasive technique of RLS.  The RLS technique will be used for the first time in the  discovery of objective Biomarkers for diagnostic & therapeutic purposes at EHAC (e.g. our Autism in Children study). We will pay special attention to those Biomarkers that predict disease initiation or recurrence or objectively measure the response to various treatments in patients (e.g. drugs, nutrition,etc) without obvious physiological symptoms. Thus by this non-invasive technique Of RLS we expect to tag the molecular vibrational changes in body macromolecules (proteins, fats, sugars,  vitamins, mineral complexes,etc) in a patient before the disease begins. The principle is very simple:  All macromolecules of the human body have specific frequency of vibrations and these can be studied in skin, blood, urine, saliva, hair,etc. (SOBL).By applying a low frequency laser light of a particular  wavelength for a short period of time (in seconds) to these, the tissue-specific  and /or biofluid  Raman spectral signature (‘fingerprint’) is recorded for comparison with control samples stored in a database.

EHAC will become the first medical clinic in St. Louis to use this cutting-edge technology of Raman Spectroscopy to be offered to the general public. As pointed out before your genetic code (genome) is not your destiny as environmental factors and personal choices interact with your genes.  The specificity of the DNA code is fully recognized and its translation into function follows very specific rules not only of its base sequence but most importantly,the interactions with environmental signals from outside of the genome, namely the epigenome.

At EHAC we hope to use the modern technique of RLS to unravel the basis of epigenetic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, asthma, obesity, cognitive decline (Alzheimer’s disease),etc  and other chronic conditions  that could be prevented before serious illness occurs.  We will analyze  and report on Specific Biomarkers such as  Homocysteine, C-reative protein (CRP), Cytokines (Inflammation biomarkers, Interleukin-6), etc. In addition we will investigate the role of Antioxidants Defense Mechanisms, in particular the reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation and their role in many disease states such as cancer, diabetes, neurogenerative disease, atherosclerosis,etc.

In all these conditions ROS accumulation will lead to severe cellular injury, such as damage to DNA, Lipids, Proteins, (cell membranes), Sugars, etc., and which are all amenable to be studied by the techniques of Raman Spectroscopy (RLS signature) (DeSilva et al, 2004)

Please contact EHAC (314-921-5600, 314-378-1537) for a detailed RLS signature of your skin or other Biofluids to monitor your Health Status.

References: DeSilva, NS &  T. Sultan.  2012, Vibrational Raman Spectral Signature from skin and other Biofluids in Autism (ASD ) biomarkers in early diagnosis and prevention. SPIE Conf. Invited Presentation, San Francisco, CA. DeSilva, NS et al .2004, Identifying macromolecules (Raman Spectroscopy): SERS of lung surfactant protein D with LPS, Spectroscopy, Suppl. Pg 48-52. DeSilva, NS, 1999, Structural changes in the lipoprotein complex of BAL fluid of lung detected by Raman Spectroscopy, Spectroscopy 14: 21-24. DeSilva, NS & S.Yu,2011, Raman Allows Light Therapy Monitoring: The Effectiveness of Blue Light therapy for human skin assessed in vivo using Raman Spectroscopy Biomarkers, BioPhotonics 18: 28-31. DeSilva, NS & T. Sultan, 2012. Raman Spectroscopy & Autism in Children, Antioxidant Therapy using Raman Spectroscopy, Patents Pending.