modulus, optical coherence tomography, skin, stiffness, vibrational optical coherence tomography, virtual biopsy, wound healing



  1. Silver, Frederick H. PhD
  2. Shah, Ruchit PhD


ABSTRACT: The search for noninvasive methods to image and measure the mechanical properties of skin has been a frequent subject of research for many years. Although suction testing, elastography, and other testing can be noninvasive, these tests fail to yield comparable results to destructive tests such as uniaxial tensile testing. Accordingly, researchers have developed a technique to combine optical coherence tomography with vibrational analysis (vibrational optical coherence tomography) to image and analyze the biomechanical properties of tissues noninvasively and nondestructively. The result of this analysis is a "virtual biopsy" of skin, along with a physical analysis of the major components of the epidermis and dermis.


In this study, the authors compare virtual biopsies of thermal and chemical burns to that of normal skin. They conclude that the enhanced optical coherence tomography images and measurements of the resonant frequency after thermal or chemical burns exhibit large differences when compared with the morphology and moduli of normal skin. Using vibrational optical coherence tomography, it is possible to follow changes in the morphology and physical properties of the epidermis and dermis associated with skin diseases and therapeutic treatments in situ.