Chromophore concentrations, absorption and scattering properties of human skin in-vivo

Sheng Hao Tseng, Paulo Bargo, Anthony Durkin, Nikiforos Kollias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

167 Citations (Scopus)


Absorption and reduced scattering coefficients of in-vivo human skin provide critical information on non-invasive skin diagnoses for aesthetic and clinical purposes. To date, very few in-vivo skin optical properties have been reported. Previously, we reported absorption and scattering properties of in-vivo skin in the wavelength range from 650 to 1000nm using the diffusing probe in the "modified two-layer geometry". In this study, we determine the spectra of skin optical properties continuously in the range from 500 to 1000nm. It was found that the concentration of chromophores, such as oxy-hemoglobin, deoxy-hemoglobin, and melanin, calculated based on the absorption spectra of eighteen subjects at wavelengths above and below 600nm were distinct because of the inherent difference in the interrogation region. The scattering power, which is related to the average scatterer's size, demonstrates a clear contrast between skin phototypes, skin sites, and wavelengths. We also applied venous occlusion on forearms and found that the concentrations of oxy- and deoxyhemoglobin as assessed at wavelengths above and below 600nm were different. Our results suggest that diffuse reflectance techniques with the visible and near infrared light sources can be employed to investigate the hemodynamics and optical properties of upper dermis and lower dermis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14599-14617
Number of pages19
JournalOptics Express
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Aug 17

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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