Method and apparatus for examining biological materials using diffuse reflectance spectroscopy and the Kubelka-Munk function. In one aspect, the method is used to determine whether a tissue sample is cancerous or not and comprises the steps of (a) measuring the diffuse reflectance from the tissue sample at a first wavelength and at a second wavelength, wherein the first wavelength is a wavelength selected from the group consisting of 255-265 nm and wherein the second wavelength is a wavelength selected from the group consisting of 275-285 nm; (b) using the Kubelka-Munk function to transform the diffuse reflectance measurement obtained at the first and second wavelengths; and (c) comparing a ratio or a difference of the transformed Kubelka-Munk measurements at the first and second wavelengths to appropriate standards determine whether or not the tissue sample is cancerous. One can use the spectral profile of KMF between 250 nm to 300 nm to determine whether or not the tissue sample is cancerous or precancerous. According to the value at the first and second wavelengths determine whether or not the malignant tissue is invasive or mixed invasive and in situ or carcinoma in situ.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DEFG0298ER62560 awarded by the Department of Energy. The Government may have certain rights in this invention.