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Sensors 2016, 16(9), 1411; doi:10.3390/s16091411

Concurrent Reflectance Confocal Microscopy and Laser Doppler Flowmetry to Improve Skin Cancer Imaging: A Monte Carlo Model and Experimental Validation

1
School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Brisbane 4072, Australia
2
School of Mathematics and Physics, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Brisbane 4072, Australia
3
Dermatology Research Centre, The University of Queensland, School of Medicine, Translational Research Institute, Brisbane 4102, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vittorio M. N. Passaro
Received: 27 July 2016 / Revised: 25 August 2016 / Accepted: 26 August 2016 / Published: 1 September 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1375 KB, uploaded 1 September 2016]   |  

Abstract

Optical interrogation of suspicious skin lesions is standard care in the management of skin cancer worldwide. Morphological and functional markers of malignancy are often combined to improve expert human diagnostic power. We propose the evaluation of the combination of two independent optical biomarkers of skin tumours concurrently. The morphological modality of reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM) is combined with the functional modality of laser Doppler flowmetry, which is capable of quantifying tissue perfusion. To realize the idea, we propose laser feedback interferometry as an implementation of RCM, which is able to detect the Doppler signal in addition to the confocal reflectance signal. Based on the proposed technique, we study numerical models of skin tissue incorporating two optical biomarkers of malignancy: (i) abnormal red blood cell velocities and concentrations and (ii) anomalous optical properties manifested through tissue confocal reflectance, using Monte Carlo simulation. We also conduct a laboratory experiment on a microfluidic channel containing a dynamic turbid medium, to validate the efficacy of the technique. We quantify the performance of the technique by examining a signal to background ratio (SBR) in both the numerical and experimental models, and it is shown that both simulated and experimental SBRs improve consistently using this technique. This work indicates the feasibility of an optical instrument, which may have a role in enhanced imaging of skin malignancies. View Full-Text
Keywords: skin cancer detection; Monte Carlo modelling; laser feedback interferometry; reflectance confocal microscopy; laser Doppler flowmetry skin cancer detection; Monte Carlo modelling; laser feedback interferometry; reflectance confocal microscopy; laser Doppler flowmetry
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Mowla, A.; Taimre, T.; Lim, Y.L.; Bertling, K.; Wilson, S.J.; Prow, T.W.; Soyer, H.P.; Rakić, A.D. Concurrent Reflectance Confocal Microscopy and Laser Doppler Flowmetry to Improve Skin Cancer Imaging: A Monte Carlo Model and Experimental Validation. Sensors 2016, 16, 1411.

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