Using a portable terahertz spectrometer to measure the optical properties of in vivo human skin

Ibtissam Echchgadda, Jessica E. Grundt, Melissa Tarango, Bennett L. Ibey, Thomas Tongue, Min Liang, Hao Xin, Gerald J. Wilmink

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Terahertz time-domain spectroscopy (THz-TDS) systems are capable of detecting small differences in water concentration levels in biological tissues. This feature makes THz devices excellent tools for the noninvasive assessment of skin; however, most conventional systems prove too cumbersome for limited-space environments. We previously demonstrated that a portable, compact THz spectrometer permitted measurement of porcine skin optical properties that were comparable to those collected with conventional systems. In order to move toward human use of this system, the goal for this study was to collect the optical properties, specifically the absorption coefficient (μa) and index of refraction (n), of human subjects in vivo. Spectra were collected from 0.1-2 THz, and measurements were made on the palm, ventral (inner) and dorsal (outer) forearm. Prior to each THz measurement, we used a multiprobe adapter system to measure each subject's skin hydration levels, transepidermal waterloss (TEWL), skin color, and degree of melanin pigmentation. Our results suggest that the measured optical properties were wide-ranging, and varied considerably for skin tissues with different hydration and melanin levels. These data provide a novel framework for accurate human tissue measurements using THz spectrometers in limited-space environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTerahertz and Ultrashort Electromagnetic Pulses for Biomedical Applications
DOIs
StatePublished - May 28 2013
EventTerahertz and Ultrashort Electromagnetic Pulses for Biomedical Applications - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 6 2013Feb 7 2013

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
Volume8585
ISSN (Print)1605-7422

Other

OtherTerahertz and Ultrashort Electromagnetic Pulses for Biomedical Applications
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA
Period2/6/132/7/13

Keywords

  • THz
  • applications
  • optical properties
  • terahertz
  • tissue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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  • Cite this

    Echchgadda, I., Grundt, J. E., Tarango, M., Ibey, B. L., Tongue, T., Liang, M., Xin, H., & Wilmink, G. J. (2013). Using a portable terahertz spectrometer to measure the optical properties of in vivo human skin. In Terahertz and Ultrashort Electromagnetic Pulses for Biomedical Applications [85850J] (Progress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE; Vol. 8585). https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2004944