9 February 2012 Pulsed photothermal depth profiling of tattoos undergoing laser removal treatment
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Abstract
Pulsed photothermal radiometry (PPTR) allows noninvasive determination of temperature depth profiles induced by pulsed laser irradiation of strongly scattering biological tissues and organs, including human skin. In present study, we evaluate the potential of this technique for investigational characterization and possibly quantitative evaluation of laser tattoo removal. The study involved 5 healthy volunteers (3 males, 2 females), age 20-30 years, undergoing tattoo removal treatment using a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser. There were four measurement and treatment sessions in total, separated by 2-3 months. Prior to each treatment, PPTR measurements were performed on several tattoo sites and one nearby healthy site in each patient, using a 5 ms Nd:YAG laser at low radiant exposure values and a dedicated radiometric setup. The laser-induced temperature profiles were then reconstructed by applying a custom numerical code. In addition, each tatoo site was documented with a digital camera and measured with a custom colorimetric system (in tristimulus color space), providing an objective evaluation of the therapeutic efficacy to be correlated with our PPTR results. The results show that the laser-induced temperature profile in untreated tattoos is invariably located at a subsurface depth of 300 μm. In tattoo sites that responded well to laser therapy, a significant drop of the temperature peak was observed in the profiles obtained from PPTR record. In several sites that appeared less responsive, as evidenced by colorimetric data, a progressive shift of the temperature profile deeper into the dermis was observed over the course of consecutive laser treatments, indicating that the laser tattoo removal was efficient.
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Matija Milanic, Matija Milanic, Boris Majaron, Boris Majaron, } "Pulsed photothermal depth profiling of tattoos undergoing laser removal treatment", Proc. SPIE 8207, Photonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics VIII, 82070G (9 February 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.908407; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.908407
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