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Diffuse optical spectroscopy of melanoma-simulating silicone phantoms

Published Web Location Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

Currently the only method for positively identifying malignant melanoma involves invasive and often undesirable biopsy procedures. Available ex-vivo data indicates increased vascularization in the lower regions of excised melanoma, as compared to dysplastic nevi. The ability to interrogate this region of tissue in-vivo could lead to useful diagnostic information. Using a newly developed fiber based superficial probe in conjunction with a steady-state frequency-domain photon migration (SSFDPM) system, we can probe the upper 1-2 mm of tissue, extracting functional information in the near infrared (650-1000 nm) range. To test the resolution and detection range of the superficial probe in this context,deformable silicone phantoms have been fabricated that simulate normal skin with melanocytic lesions. These phantoms consist of a two-layered matrix with the optical properties of normal light skin, containing several cylindrical inclusions that simulate highly absorbing pigmented lesions such as melanoma. The e inclusions are varied in depth, diameter, and optical properties in order to fully test the probe's detection capabilities. It was found that, depending on absorption, we can typically probe to a depth of 1.0-1.5 mm in an inclusion, likely reaching the site of angiogenesis in an early-stage melanoma. Additionally, we can successfully interrogate normal tissue below lesions 1.5mm deep when absorption is about 0.4/mm or less. This data indicates that the superficial probe shows great promise for non-invasive diagnosis of pigmented lesions.© 2009 SPIE.

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