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Proceedings Paper

Role of collagen in terahertz absorption in skin
Author(s): Priyamvada Tewari; Martin O. Culjat; Zachary D. Taylor; Jonathan Y. Suen; Benjamin O Burt; Hua Lee; Elliott R. Brown; Warren S. Grundfest; Rahul S. Singh
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Paper Abstract

Reflective terahertz (THz) imaging may potentially become a valuable tool in determining skin hydration due to its non-ionizing photon energy, high sensitivity to water concentration and ability to penetrate through clothing. The high absorption coefficient of water in the THz range is responsible for contrast between substances with lesser or higher degrees of water saturation. Water content, as well as collagen fiber arrangement, varies between different layers of skin. This study sought to determine whether the high THz absorption in water could be exploited to distinguish between these layers. Porcine skin specimens were sectioned into samples of increasing thickness, with the undersides corresponding to different layers in skin. The undersides of the samples were scanned using a THz imaging system operating at a center frequency of 0.5 THz with 0.125 THz of noise-equivalent bandwidth at a standoff of 4 cm and a spot size of 13 mm. Collagen solutions of varying hydrations were also prepared and raster scanned with the same system. The reflectivity of the deeper layers of skin was found to be higher than that of the upper layers, indicating that the deeper layers are more hydrated. The collagen solutions with higher hydration also had higher THz reflectivity. These results suggested that THz is able to distinguish between different layers of skin based on water content and the nature of its association with components in skin.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 February 2009
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7169, Advanced Biomedical and Clinical Diagnostic Systems VII, 71691A (24 February 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.816433
Show Author Affiliations
Priyamvada Tewari, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States)
Martin O. Culjat, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States)
Zachary D. Taylor, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (United States)
Jonathan Y. Suen, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (United States)
Benjamin O Burt, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States)
Hua Lee, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (United States)
Elliott R. Brown, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (United States)
Warren S. Grundfest, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States)
Rahul S. Singh, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7169:
Advanced Biomedical and Clinical Diagnostic Systems VII
Anita Mahadevan-Jansen; Tuan Vo-Dinh; Warren S. Grundfest, Editor(s)

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