We present instrumentation for probing of volar side fingertip capillary beds with free space coupled near infrared light while collecting Raman, Rayleigh, and Mie scattered light as well as fluorescence. Fingertip skin capillary beds are highly vascularized relative to other tissues and present a desirable target for noninvasive probing of blood. But human hands and fingers in particular are also highly idiosyncratic body parts requiring specific apparatus to allow careful and methodical spectoscopic probing. The apparatus includes means for precise and reproducible placement of the tissues relative to the optical aperture. Appropriate means are provided for applying and maintaining pressure to keep surface tissues immobile during experiments while obtaining the desired blood content and flow. Soft matter, e.g., skin, extrudes into the aperture in response to any applied pressure, e.g., to keep the tissue in registration with the optical system, so the position, contact area, pressure, and force are continuously measured and recorded to produce feedback for an actuator applying force and to discern the compliance of the test subject. The compliance strongly affects the reliability of the measurement and human factors must be adequately managed in the case of in vivo probing. The apparatus produces reproducible observations and measurements that allow consistent probing of the tissues of a wide range of skin types.
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