The survivors of almost 500,000 burn injuries that receive medical treatment each year in the U.S. face immense social and economic costs during their recovery and reintegration period.1,2 Characterization of burn injuries during the early postinjury assessment period is a critical decision point in determining the management course, healing process, and ultimate outcome, since the treatment of a given burn differs considerably depending upon the results of the initial assessment. Burns are usually classified according to the depth of the damaged skin in three clinically useful categories: first-, second-, and third-degree.2 In a full-thickness or third-degree burn, the entire depth of the skin, through the stratum corneum, epidermis, and dermis layers, is destroyed. In a partial-thickness (second-degree) burn, the extent of the damage is contained within the dermis layer. Finally, first-degree or superficial burns only involve the epidermis layer of the skin and usually heal without any scars or need for medical care. The clinical course of treatment is substantially different for burns of greater severity. Third-degree injuries cannot heal without surgical and skin grafting procedures, whereas for second-degree wounds, the recovery progress consists of careful monitoring and infection prevention over a 2- to 3-week period after the burn.2,3 During this period, a subgroup of the second-degree burns will spontaneously heal, while others will develop to a full-thickness state and will require surgical intervention.2 The complex nature of partial-thickness burns is due to the extent of irreversible thermal damage to the microvasculature and the new epithelium generation sites. If an insufficient number of microvascular and epithelium generation structures survive after the injuries, the remaining viable parts of the dermis layer will slowly desiccate and eventually reach the third-degree injury level.2,4 Therefore, in order to investigate the utility of a diagnosis technique for differentiating second-degree burns from third-degree ones, in vivo animal models should be employed, as opposed to ex vivo studies, due to the complex dynamics of wound healing after thermal injury.