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Journal of Biomedical Optics • Open Access

In vivo terahertz imaging of rat skin burns
Author(s): Priyamvada Tewari; Neha Bajwa; Rahul S. Singh; Martin O. Culjat; Warren S. Grundgest; Zachary D. Taylor; Colin P. Kealey; David B. Bennett; Kelli S. Barnett; Alexander Stojadinovic

Paper Abstract

A reflective, pulsed terahertz (THz) imaging system was used to acquire high-resolution (d10-90/λ ∼ 1.925) images of deep, partial thickness burns in a live rat. The rat's abdomen was burned with a brass brand heated to ∼ 220°C and pressed against the skin with contact pressure for ∼ 10 sec. The burn injury was imaged beneath a Mylar window every 15 to 30 min for up to 7 h. Initial images display an increase in local water concentration of the burned skin as evidenced by a marked increase in THz reflectivity, and this likely correlates to the post-injury inflammatory response. After ∼ 1  h the area of increased reflectivity consolidated to the region of skin that had direct contact with the brand. Additionally, a low reflecting ring of tissue could be observed surrounding the highly reflective burned tissue. We hypothesize that these regions of increased and decreased reflectivity correlate to the zones of coagulation and stasis that are the classic foundation of burn wound histopathology. While further investigations are necessary to confirm this hypothesis, if true, it likely represents the first in vivo THz images of these pathologic zones and may represent a significant step forward in clinical application of THz technology.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 April 2012
PDF: 4 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 17(4) 040503 doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.17.4.040503
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 17, Issue 4
Show Author Affiliations
Priyamvada Tewari, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States)
Neha Bajwa, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States)
Rahul S. Singh, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States)
Martin O. Culjat, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States)
Warren S. Grundgest, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States)
Zachary D. Taylor, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States)
Colin P. Kealey, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States)
David B. Bennett, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States)
Kelli S. Barnett, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States)
Alexander Stojadinovic, Walter Reed National Military Medical Ctr. (United States)


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