Burn Depth Determination by High-Speed Fiber-Based Polarization Sensitive Optical Coherence Tomography at 1.3 micrometers

B. Hyle Park, Chris Saxer, Shyam M. Srinivas, J. Stuart Nelson, Johannes F. de Boer

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademic


Burn depth determination is a critical factor in the treatment of thermal injury. We have developed a technique, polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT), to assess burn depth non-invasively. Thermal injury denatures collagen in human skin. PS-OCT is able to measure the resulting reduction in collagen birefringence using depth resolved changes in the polarization of light propagated and reflected from the sample. In a previous study, we used a free space PS-OCT system at 850 nm to image in vivo the skin of rats burned for various amounts of time. Using a high-speed system at 1.3 micrometers has the advantages of greater depth penetration and reduction of motion artifacts due to breathing and small movements of the animal. Stokes vectors were calculated for each point in the scans and the relative birefringence was determined using different incident polarization states. Birefringence was correlated with actual burn depth determined by histological analysis. Our results show a marked difference between normal tissue and even the slightest burn, and a consistent trend for various degrees of burns.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes
EventBiomedical topical Meeting 2002 - Miami Beach, Florida, Miami, United States
Duration: 7 Feb 200210 Feb 2002


ConferenceBiomedical topical Meeting 2002
Country/TerritoryUnited States

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