Terahertz radiation and the skin: a review

Angelina I. Nikitkina, Polina Y. Bikmulina, Elvira R. Gafarova, Nastasia V. Kosheleva, Yuri M. Efremov, Evgeny A. Bezrukov, Denis V. Butnaru, Irina N. Dolganova, Nikita V. Chernomyrdin, Olga P. Cherkasova, Arsenii A. Gavdush, Peter S. Timashev
2021 Journal of Biomedical Optics  
Terahertz (THz) radiation has demonstrated a great potential in biomedical applications over the past three decades, mainly due to its non-invasive and label-free nature. Among all biological specimens, skin tissue is an optimal sample for the application of THz-based methods because it allows for overcoming some intrinsic limitations of the technique, such as a small penetration depth (0.1 to 0.3 mm for the skin, on average). We summarize the modern research results achieved when THz
more » ... was applied to the skin, considering applications in both imaging/detection and treatment/modulation of the skin constituents. We perform a review of literature and analyze the recent research achievements in THz applications for skin diagnosis and investigation. The reviewed results demonstrate the possibilities of THz spectroscopy and imaging, both pulsed and continuous, for diagnosis of skin melanoma and non-melanoma cancer, dysplasia, scars, and diabetic condition, mainly based on the analysis of THz optical properties. The possibility of modulating cell activity and treatment of various diseases by THz-wave exposure is shown as well. The rapid development of THz technologies and the obtained research results for skin tissue highlight the potential of THz waves as a research and therapeutic instrument. The perspectives on the use of THz radiation are related to both non-invasive diagnostics and stimulation and control of different processes in a living skin tissue for regeneration and cancer treatment.
doi:10.1117/1.jbo.26.4.043005 pmid:33583155 pmcid:PMC7881098 fatcat:oehthkgv7vbenfrlnc6tz5ocm4