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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Michael Duncan
  • Vol. 12, Iss. 23 — Nov. 15, 2004
  • pp: 5760–5769

Optical coherence tomography of skin for measurement of epidermal thickness by shapelet-based image analysis

Jesse Weissman, Tom Hancewicz, and Peter Kaplan  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 12, Issue 23, pp. 5760-5769 (2004)

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Optical coherence tomography (OCT) provides a non-invasive method for in-vivo imaging of sub-surface skin tissue. Many skin features such as sweat glands and blisters are clearly observable in OCT images. It seems therefore probable that OCT could be used for the detection and identification of lesions and skin cancers. These applications, however, have not been well developed. One area in dermatology where OCT has been applied is the measurement of epidermal thickness. OCT images are inherently noisy and measurements based on them require intensive manual processing. A robust method to automatically detect and measure features of interest is necessary to enable routine application of OCT. As a first step, we approach the seemingly straightforward problem of measuring epidermal thickness. In this paper we describe a novel shapelet-based image processing technique for the automatic identification of the upper and lower boundaries of the epidermis in living human skin tissue. These boundaries are used to measure epidermal thickness. To our knowledge, this is the first report of automated feature identification and measurement from OCT images of skin.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(100.5010) Image processing : Pattern recognition
(170.4500) Medical optics and biotechnology : Optical coherence tomography

ToC Category:
Research Papers

Original Manuscript: October 1, 2004
Revised Manuscript: November 5, 2004
Published: November 15, 2004

Jesse Weissman, Tom Hancewicz, and Peter Kaplan, "Optical coherence tomography of skin for measurement of epidermal thickness by shapelet-based image analysis," Opt. Express 12, 5760-5769 (2004)

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