Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Abstract-Exploration of the effects of burn parameters on THz wound imaging
Neha Bajwa; Shijun Sung; Michael Fishbein; Warren S. Grundfest; Zachary D. Taylor
The high contrast resolution afforded by terahertz (1 THz = 1012 Hz) imaging of physiologic tissue continues to drive explorations into the utility of THz technology for burn wound detection. Although we have previously reported the use of a novel, reflective THz imaging technology to sense spatiotemporal differences in reflectivity between partial and full thickness burn wounds, no evidence exists of a one-to-one correlation between structural damage observed in histological assessments of burn severity and THz signal. For example, varying burn induction methods may all result in a common burn wound severity, however, burn features observed in parallel THz imagery may not be identical. Successful clinical translation of THz technology as a comprehensive burn guidance tool, therefore, necessitates an understanding of THz signal and its relation to wound pathophysiology. In this work, longitudinal THz imagery was acquired with a quartz (n = 2.1, 500 μm) window of cutaneous wounds induced with the same brand geometry and contact pressure but varying contact times (5, 7, and 10 seconds) in in vivo, pre-clinical rat models (n=3) over a period of 3 days. Though all burn wounds were evaluated to be deep partial thickness with histology, THz contrasts observed for each burn contact time were intrinsically unique. This is the first preliminary in vivo evidence of a many-to-one relationship between changes in THz contrast and burn severity as ascertained by histology. Future large-scale studies are required to assess whether these observed changes in THz contrast may be interpreted as physiological changes occurring over time, morphometric changes related to anatomical change, or electromagnetic changes between dielectric substrate windows and the underlying tissue.