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Proceedings Paper

Melanin effect on light scattering in tissues: from electrodynamics of living cells to OCT imaging
Author(s): Alexander M. Sergeev; Natalia D. Gladkova; Felix I. Feldchtein; Valentin M. Gelikonov; Grigory V. Gelikonov; Ludmila Snopova; John Ioannovich; K. Frangia; T. Pirza; Ioannis Antoniou; Andrew K. Dunn; Rebecca R. Richards-Kortum
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Paper Abstract

In this report we present the results on optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging of human skin with pigmented lesions and compare these results with the postexperimental histological analysis. We demonstrate that beside the proposed limitation of the image depth due to a strong absorption of the probing radiation, the melanin-containing layers of tissues are characterized by an increased backscatter. It is especially interesting to note that after a proper contrasting of OCT pictures, fine spatial distributions in the scattering cell conglomerations become distinguishable. As an example we show the case of the border-line nevus where, in accordance with the histological data, we have succeeded in localizing a melanin containing cell distribution over the all basal membrane on the in vivo recorded tomographs. The peculiarities of the studied OCT images can be explained by characteristics of light scattering by a single living cell. We have performed a computer simulation of electromagnetic wave propagation in a single cell using the full set of the Maxwell equations with known dielectric constants for various intracellular components. A particular result of this modeling is that due to a noticeable difference in dielectric constants between the cytoplasm and the melanin granules, a substantial increase of the cell backscattering cross-section takes place.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 May 1997
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 2981, Coherence Domain Optical Methods in Biomedical Science and Clinical Applications, (22 May 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.274322
Show Author Affiliations
Alexander M. Sergeev, Institute of Applied Physics (Russia)
Natalia D. Gladkova, Institute of Applied Physics (Russia)
Felix I. Feldchtein, Institute of Applied Physics (Russia)
Valentin M. Gelikonov, Institute of Applied Physics (Russia)
Grigory V. Gelikonov, Institute of Applied Physics (Russia)
Ludmila Snopova, Nizhny Novgorod Medical Academy (Russia)
John Ioannovich, General State Hospital (Greece)
K. Frangia, General State Hospital (Greece)
T. Pirza, General State Hospital (Greece)
Ioannis Antoniou, International Solvay Institute for Physics and Chemistry (Belgium)
Andrew K. Dunn, Univ. of Texas/Austin (United States)
Rebecca R. Richards-Kortum, Univ. of Texas/Austin (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2981:
Coherence Domain Optical Methods in Biomedical Science and Clinical Applications
Valery V. Tuchin; Halina Podbielska; Ben Ovryn, Editor(s)

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