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Journal of Biomedical Optics • Open Access

In vivo confocal scanning laser microscopy: comparison of the reflectance and fluorescence mode by imaging human skin
Author(s): Lars E. Meyer; Nina Otberg; Wolfram Sterry; Jürgen Lademann

Paper Abstract

Optical, noninvasive methods have become efficient in vivo tools in dermatological diagnosis and research. From these promising imaging techniques, only the confocal scanning laser microscopy (CSLM) provides visualization of subsurface skin structures with resolutions similar to those of light microscopy. Skin annexes, as well as cutaneous cells from different epidermal layers, can be distinguished excellently. Currently, two forms of application have been established in dermatological practice: the reflectance mode, predominantly in the clinical field, and the fluorescence mode in dermatological research. Differences in both methods exist in the preparative protocol, in maximum imaging depth and, particularly, in the gain of contrast extraction. The reflectance mode demonstrates naturally occurring tissue components, whereas the fluorescent CSLM achieves contrast by administering fluorescence dye, representing the dynamic distribution pattern of the dye's fluorescent emission. Therefore, the reflectance and fluorescent modes highlight various skin microstructures, providing dissimilar in vivo confocal images of the skin. This permits different predications and information on the state of the tissue. We report the advantages and disadvantages of both optical imaging modes. The comparison was drawn by scanning human skin in vivo. Representative images in varying depths were obtained and analyzed; preparation procedures are shown and discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 July 2006
PDF: 7 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 11(4) 044012 doi: 10.1117/1.2337294
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 11, Issue 4
Show Author Affiliations
Lars E. Meyer, Charité-Univ. Medizin Berlin (Germany)
Nina Otberg, Charité-Univ. Medicine Berlin (Germany)
Wolfram Sterry, Charité-Univ. Medizin Berlin (Germany)
Jürgen Lademann, Charité-Univ. Medizin Berlin (Germany)

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