Special Section on Optical Methods of Imaging in the Skin

Special Section Guest Editorial: Optical Methods of Imaging in the Skin

[+] Author Affiliations
Jürgen Lademann

Charité—Universitätsmedizin, Berlin

J. Biomed. Opt. 18(6), 061201 (Jun 28, 2013). doi:10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.061201
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The skin is the biggest organ of the body, representing its barrier to the environment. It provides protection against water loss, keeps microorganisms from invading our body, and responds sensitively to external stimuli. The skin barrier is formed by the uppermost cell layer, i.e., the stratum corneum, consisting of dead horny cells. Underlying the stratum corneum are various layers of living cells. The capillary structures of the blood vessels appear from a depth of approximately 150 µm beneath the skin surface. The homogeneous structure of the skin surface is interrupted by hair follicles and sweat glands. As a sensory organ the skin is an essential means of interpersonal communication. This is why we devote particular attention to skin care and dermal treatment. In this context, diagnostics and therapy control play a decisive role. Easily accessible, the skin is an ideal object to be investigated by noninvasive optical and spectroscopic methods. An ample range of such methods is available for dermal analysis, including fluorescence, reflectance, Raman, and CARS measurements. Laser scanning microscopy has proven to be specifically suitable for investigating the skin barrier and the underlying living cell layers up to a depth of 200 µm depending on the wavelength applied, imaging both cellular and molecular structures. The primary purpose of these investigations is to analyze the integrity of the skin barrier, which is characterized by the organization of the cellular structures and by the composition of the lipid layers surrounding the cells. The application both of laser scanning microscopy and optical coherence tomography is focused mainly on the detection of dermal lesions, in particular of skin tumors, and their response to different therapies.

Optical imaging methods are also becoming increasingly popular in the field of pharmacology, specifically for investigating the penetration of topically applied substances into and through the skin barrier.

Due to the rapid development of optical techniques, both in terms of excitation by lasers and light-emitting diodes, and in terms of detection using capacitive sensors, optical and spectroscopic methods are increasingly applied in medicine, cosmetics, and cutaneous physiology. The articles published in this special section provide some impressive examples.

In this special section, 31 papers describe the broad application of optical methods for skin imaging. Laser scanning microscopy and multiphoton tomography are often used techniques in skin research and clinical diagnostics [Guojin et al., J. Biomed. Opt.. 18, (6 ), 061207 CrossRef[[XSLOpenURL/10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.061207]]; Ulrich et al., J. Biomed. Opt.. 18, (6 ), 061211 CrossRef[[XSLOpenURL/10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.061212]]; J. Biomed. Opt.. 18, (6 ), 061229 ; Hoffman et al., J. Biomed. Opt.. 18, (6 ), 061216 CrossRef[[XSLOpenURL/10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.061216]]; Sanchez et al., J. Biomed. Opt.. 18, (6 ), 061217 CrossRef[[XSLOpenURL/10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.061217]]; Abeytunge et al., J. Biomed. Opt.. 18, (6 ), 061227 CrossRef[[XSLOpenURL/10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.061227]]; Tanaka et al., J. Biomed. Opt.. 18, (6 ), 061231 CrossRef[[XSLOpenURL/10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.061231]]; and Lai et al., J. Biomed. Opt.. 18, (6 ), 061225 CrossRef[[XSLOpenURL/10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.061225]]].

Several papers are related to the application of Raman spectroscopy for the analysis of human skin tissue [Syed et al., J. Biomed. Opt.. 18, (6 ), 061202 CrossRef[[XSLOpenURL/10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.061202]]; Franzen et al., J. Biomed. Opt.. 18, (6 ), 061210 CrossRef[[XSLOpenURL/10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.061210]]; Darvin et al., J. Biomed. Opt.. 18, (6 ), 061230 CrossRef[[XSLOpenURL/10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.061230]]] and of nickel allergy [Alda et al., J. Biomed. Opt.. 18, (6 ), 061206 CrossRef[[XSLOpenURL/10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.061206]]].

The application of optical coherence tomography in dermatology is discussed by Liew et al., J. Biomed. Opt.. 18, (6 ), 061213 CrossRef[[XSLOpenURL/10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.061213]] and Sattler et al., J. Biomed. Opt.. 18, (6 ), 061224 CrossRef[[XSLOpenURL/10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.061224]]. The application of optical methods permits distinguishing between different types of skin cancer and is helpful for therapy planning [Darlenski et al., J. Biomed. Opt.. 18, (6 ), 061208 CrossRef[[XSLOpenURL/10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.061208]]; Tchvialeva et al., J. Biomed. Opt.. 18, (6 ), 061211 CrossRef[[XSLOpenURL/10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.061211]]; and Drakaki et al., J. Biomed. Opt.. 18, (6 ), 061221 CrossRef[[XSLOpenURL/10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.061221]]].

Optical methods are also applied for blood flow imaging [Sun et al., J. Biomed. Opt.. 18, (6 ), 061204 CrossRef[[XSLOpenURL/10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.061205]]; Wang et al., J. Biomed. Opt.. 18, (6 ), 061209 CrossRef[[XSLOpenURL/10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.061209]]; Klein et al., J. Biomed. Opt.. 18, (6 ), 061219 CrossRef[[XSLOpenURL/10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.061219]]; and Nishidate et al., J. Biomed. Opt.. 18, (6 ), 061220 CrossRef[[XSLOpenURL/10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.061220]]] and for the analysis of wound healing processes [Pesqueira et al., J. Biomed. Opt.. 18, (6 ), 061202 CrossRef[[XSLOpenURL/10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.061203]]; Medina-Preciado et al., J. Biomed. Opt.. 18, (6 ), 061204 CrossRef[[XSLOpenURL/10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.061204]]; and Deka et al., J. Biomed. Opt.. 18, (6 ), 061222 CrossRef[[XSLOpenURL/10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.061222]]].

The interaction of nanoparticles with human skin is a topic of increasing interest. Research into this specific field using optical imaging methods is presented by Yu et al., J. Biomed. Opt.. 18, (6 ), 061207 CrossRef[[XSLOpenURL/10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.061207]]; Zhang et al., J. Biomed. Opt.. 18, (6 ), 061214 CrossRef[[XSLOpenURL/10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.061214]]; Song et al., J. Biomed. Opt.. 18, (6 ), 061215 CrossRef[[XSLOpenURL/10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.061215]]; Labouta et al., J. Biomed. Opt.. 18, (6 ), 061218 CrossRef[[XSLOpenURL/10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.061218]]; and Fixler et al., J. Biomed. Opt.. 18, (6 ), 061226 CrossRef[[XSLOpenURL/10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.061226]].

Very often model calculation of skin physiological processes are based on results obtained by optical imaging techniques [Okamoto et al., J. Biomed. Opt.. 18, (6 ), 061232 CrossRef[[XSLOpenURL/10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.061232]]; Liu et al., J. Biomed. Opt.. 18, (6 ), 061228 CrossRef[[XSLOpenURL/10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.061228]]; and Terstappen et al., J. Biomed. Opt.. 18, (6 ), 061223 CrossRef[[XSLOpenURL/10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.061223]]].

It will also be shown that a single technique suitable for all issues is not available, but that it is necessary to select the optimum technique for the specific purpose.

© The Authors. Published by SPIE under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Distribution or reproduction of this work in whole or in part requires full attribution of the original publication, including its DOI.

Citation

Jürgen Lademann
"Special Section Guest Editorial: Optical Methods of Imaging in the Skin", J. Biomed. Opt. 18(6), 061201 (Jun 28, 2013). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.061201


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