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Biosens Bioelectron. 2016 Aug 15;82:64-70. doi: 10.1016/j.bios.2016.03.051. Epub 2016 Mar 22.

Early detection of skin cancer via terahertz spectral profiling and 3D imaging.

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Applied Research & Photonics, 470 Friendship Road, Suite 10, Harrisburg, PA 17111, United States. Electronic address:
Applied Research & Photonics, 470 Friendship Road, Suite 10, Harrisburg, PA 17111, United States.
Rutgers University, 1 Worlds Fair Drive, Suite 2400, Somerset, NJ 08873, United States.


Terahertz scanning reflectometry, terahertz 3D imaging and terahertz time-domain spectroscopy have been used to identify features in human skin biopsy samples diagnosed for basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and compared with healthy skin samples. It was found from the 3D images that the healthy skin samples exhibit regular cellular pattern while the BCC skin samples indicate lack of regular cell pattern. The skin is a highly layered structure organ; this is evident from the thickness profile via a scan through the thickness of the healthy skin samples, where, the reflected intensity of the terahertz beam exhibits fluctuations originating from different skin layers. Compared to the healthy skin samples, the BCC samples' profiles exhibit significantly diminished layer definition; thus indicating a lack of cellular order. In addition, terahertz time-domain spectroscopy reveals significant and quantifiable differences between the healthy and BCC skin samples. Thus, a combination of three different terahertz techniques constitutes a conclusive route for detecting the BCC condition on a cellular level compared to the healthy skin.


Basal cell carcinoma; Early detection; Skin cancer; Terahertz 3D imaging; Terahertz scanning reflectometry; Terahertz skin layer profiling; Terahertz time-domain spectrometry

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