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In vivo time-resolved autofluorescence measurements to test for glycation of human skin.


We present an evaluation of time-resolved fluorescence measurements on human skin for screening type 2 diabetes. In vivo human skin is excited with a pulse diode at 375 nm and pulse width of 700 ps. Fluorescence decays are recorded at four different emission wavelengths: 442, 460, 478, and 496 nm. Experiments are performed at various locations, including the palms, arms, legs, and cheeks of a healthy Caucasian subject to test single-subject variability. The fluorescence decays obtained are modeled using a three-exponential decay. The variations in the lifetimes and amplitudes from one location to another are minimal, except on the cheek. We compare the fluorescent decays of 38 diabetic subjects and 37 nondiabetic subjects, with different skin complexions and of ages ranging from 6 to 85 yr. The average lifetimes for nondiabetic subjects were 0.5, 2.6, and 9.2 ns with fractional amplitudes of 0.78, 0.18, and 0.03, respectively. The effects of average hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) from the previous 4 yr and diabetes duration are evaluated. While no significant differences between the fluorescence lifetimes of nondiabetic and diabetic subjects are observed, two of the fractional amplitudes are statistically different. Additionally, none of the six fluorescence parameters correlated with diabetes duration or HbA1c. One of the lifetimes as well as two of the fractional amplitudes differ between diabetic subjects with foot ulcers and nondiabetic subjects.

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