Noninvasive intravital cellular diagnosis of atopic dermatitis by using harmonic optical virtual biopsy

Szu Yu Chen, Jyh Hong Lee, Bor Luen Chiang, Chi Kuang Sun

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Atopic dermatitis (AD) is now very common in people who live in cities, especially for babies and children. Since the cause of AD is still not completely understood and each person may have his own mixed symptoms that can change over time, diagnosis of AD can not be done precisely. Unlike some skin diseases, physical biopsy is rarely used in diagnosing AD on account of its low urgency. Thus, only indirect diagnoses, like asking for a medical history to learn about the symptoms and to rule out other diseases can be carried out. To gain insight into cellular details of AD for long-term diagnosing without physical biopsy, a noninvasive in vivo tool with a sub-micron subsurface resolution and high penetrability has to be used. In this presentation, we show that harmonic optical virtual biopsy can provide the required noninvasive cellular imaging, and is ideal for future clinical diagnosis of AD. Harmonic optical microscopy has been demonstrated to have the capability to reveal cellular morphology of human skin from epidermis to dermis layer. Third harmonic generation (THG), which is sensitive to inhomogeneous interfaces, can show the structures of skins, and can be used to reveal the morphological changes, for example, the thicken cuticle which is a common symptom of AD. Second harmonic generation (SHG), which occurs in non-centrosymmetric structures, has excellent contrast in collagen fibers and can show the pathological changes of dermis layer. Utilizing both THG and SHG, useful information may be given to facilitate the diagnosis of AD.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhotonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics III
StatePublished - 2007
EventPhotonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics III - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: 20 Jan 200721 Jan 2007

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferencePhotonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics III
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA


  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Diagnosis
  • Harmonic generation
  • In vivo
  • Noninvasive
  • Virtual biopsy


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