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Proceedings Paper

Terahertz pulse imaging in reflection geometry of skin tissue using time-domain analysis techniques
Author(s): Ruth M. Woodward; Vincent P. Wallace; Bryan E. Cole; Richard J. Pye; Donald D. Arnone; Edmund H. Linfield; Michael Pepper
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Paper Abstract

We demonstrate the application of Terahertz Pulse Imaging (TPI) in reflection geometry for the study of skin tissue and related cancers. The terahertz frequency regime of 0.1-100THz excites the vibrational modes of molecules, allowing for spectroscopic investigation. The sensitivity of terahertz to polar molecules, such as water, makes TPI suitable for studying the hydration levels in the stratum corneum and the determination of the lateral spread of skin cancer pre-operatively. By studying the terahertz pulse shape in the time domain we have been able to differentiate between diseased and normal tissue for the study of basal cell carcinoma (BCC). Measurements on scar tissue, which is known to contain less water than the surrounding skin, and on regions of inflammation, show a clear contrast in the THz image compared to normal skin. We discuss the time domain analysis techniques used to classify the different tissue types. Basal cell carcinoma shows a positive terahertz contrast, and inflammation and scar tissue shows a negative terahertz contrast compared to normal tissue. This demonstrates for the first time the potential of TPI both in the study of skin cancer and inflammatory related disorders.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 June 2002
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 4625, Clinical Diagnostic Systems: Technologies and Instrumentation, (4 June 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.469785
Show Author Affiliations
Ruth M. Woodward, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
Vincent P. Wallace, TeraView Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Bryan E. Cole, TeraView Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Richard J. Pye, Addenbrooke's Hospital (United Kingdom)
Donald D. Arnone, TeraView Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Edmund H. Linfield, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
Michael Pepper, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4625:
Clinical Diagnostic Systems: Technologies and Instrumentation
Gerald E. Cohn, Editor(s)

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