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Journal of Biomedical Optics

Characterization of collagen orientation in human dermis by two-dimensional second-harmonic-generation polarimetry
Author(s): Takeshi Yasui; Yoshiyuki Tohno; Tsutomu Araki
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Paper Abstract

We have proposed an optical probe that can be used to characterize the orientation of collagen fibers in human dermis. A specific probing ability for collagen results from the use of second-harmonic-generation (SHG) light induced by collagen molecules in the tissue. Based on the concept of collagen SHG light, a reflection-type polarization measurement system (named SHG polarimetry) with a probe light spot of 15 µm in diameter has been constructed, and the human reticular dermis has been measured using this system. Resultant data exhibit that the reticular dermis possesses approximately uniaxial orientation of the collagen fibers. Furthermore, we demonstrated a nondestructive measurement of the collagen orientation in the papillary dermis across an epidermis layer. For distribution measurement of the collagen fiber orientation in the reticular dermis, we have extended the SHG polarimetry to one- (1-D) and two-dimensional (2-D) measurement. By the macroscopic 2-D SHG polarimetry, we have observed that the orientation angle and organization degree of collagen fibers vary widely depending on the discrete probing positions in the reticular dermis. Furthermore, microscopic 1-D SHG polarimetry indicated a swell of the orientation angle and a large variance of the organization degree in the collagen fibers in the microscopic region. These results imply that the reticular dermis posses a tangled structure of collagen fibers, which is highly consistent with the result of the anatomical examination of the skin. The proposed method will be a powerful tool for monitoring the microscopic distribution of the collagen fiber orientation in the human dermis.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 March 2004
PDF: 6 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 9(2) doi: 10.1117/1.1644116
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 9, Issue 2
Show Author Affiliations
Takeshi Yasui, Osaka Univ. (Japan)
Yoshiyuki Tohno, Nara Medical Univ. (Japan)
Tsutomu Araki, Osaka Univ. (Japan)

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