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Proceedings Paper

Visualization of the microcirculatory network in skin by high frequency optoacoustic mesoscopy
Author(s): Mathias Schwarz; Juan Aguirre; Andreas Buehler; Murad Omar; Vasilis Ntziachristos
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Paper Abstract

Optoacoustic (photoacoustic) imaging has a high potential for imaging melanin-rich structures in skin and the microvasculature of the dermis due to the natural chromophores (de)oxyhemoglobin, and melanin. The vascular network in human dermis comprises a large network of arterioles, capillaries, and venules, ranging from 5 μm to more than 100 μm in diameter. The frequency spectrum of the microcirculatory network in human skin is intrinsically broadband, due to the large variety in size of absorbers. In our group we have developed raster-scan optoacoustic mesoscopy (RSOM) that applies a 100 MHz transducer with ultra-wide bandwidth in raster-scan mode achieving lateral resolution of 18 μm. In this study, we applied high frequency RSOM to imaging human skin in a healthy volunteer. We analyzed the frequency spectrum of anatomical structures with respect to depth and show that frequencies >60 MHz contain valuable information of structures in the epidermis and the microvasculature of the papillary dermis. We illustrate that RSOM is capable of visualizing the fine vascular network at and beneath the epidermal-dermal junction, revealing the vascular fingerprint of glabrous skin, as well as the larger venules deeper inside the dermis. We evaluate the ability of the RSOM system in measuring epidermal thickness in both hairy and glabrous skin. Finally, we showcase the capability of RSOM in visualizing benign nevi that will potentially help in imaging the penetration depth of melanoma.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 July 2015
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 9539, Opto-Acoustic Methods and Applications in Biophotonics II, 95390J (16 July 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2183463
Show Author Affiliations
Mathias Schwarz, Technische Univ. München (Germany)
Helmholtz Zentrum München (Germany)
Juan Aguirre, Technische Univ. München (Germany)
Helmholtz Zentrum München (Germany)
Andreas Buehler, Technische Univ. München (Germany)
Helmholtz Zentrum München (Germany)
Murad Omar, Technische Univ. München (Germany)
Helmholtz Zentrum München (Germany)
Vasilis Ntziachristos, Technische Univ. München (Germany)
Helmholtz Zentrum München (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9539:
Opto-Acoustic Methods and Applications in Biophotonics II
Vasilis Ntziachristos; Roger Zemp, Editor(s)

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