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J Biomed Opt. 2012 Jun;17(6):066022. doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.17.6.066022.

Enhanced optical clearing of skin in vivo and optical coherence tomography in-depth imaging.

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  • 1Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Britton Chance Center for Biomedical Photonics, Wuha National Laboratory for Optoelectronics, Wuhan 430074, China.


The strong optical scattering of skin tissue makes it very difficult for optical coherence tomography (OCT) to achieve deep imaging in skin. Significant optical clearing of in vivo rat skin sites was achieved within 15 min by topical application of an optical clearing agent PEG-400, a chemical enhancer (thiazone or propanediol), and physical massage. Only when all three components were applied together could a 15 min treatment achieve a three fold increase in the OCT reflectance from a 300 μm depth and 31% enhancement in image depth Z(threshold).

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