National Research Council of Canada. NRC Institute for Biodiagnostics
Text, Book Chapter
International Symposium on Biomedical Optics, January 19, 2002, San Jose, CA, USA
spectroscopic imaging; near infrared; skin hydration; principal components analysis; fiber optic spectrometer
Near-infrared spectroscopic methods have been developed to determine the degree of hydration of human skin in vivo. Reflectance spectroscopic imaging was used to investigate the distribution of skin moisture as a function of location. A human study in a clinical setting has generated quantitative data showing the effects of a drying agent and a moisturizer on delineated regions of the forearms of eight volunteers. Two digital imaging systems equipped with liquid-crystal tunable filters were used to collect stacks of monochromatic images at 10-nm intervals over the wavelength bands 650-1050 nm and 960-1700 nm. Images generated from measurements of water absorption-band areas at three different near-IR wavelengths (970, 1200, and 1450 nm) showed obvious differences in the apparent distribution of water in skin. Changes resulting from the skin treatments were much more evident in the 1200-nm and 1450-nm images than in the 970-nm ones. The variable sensitivity of the method at different wavelengths has been interpreted as being the result of different penetration depths of the infrared light used in the reflectance studies. Ex-vivo experiments with pigskin have provided evidence supporting the relationship between wavelength and penetration depth. Combining the hydration results from several near-IR water bands allows additional information on hydration depth to be obtained.