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22 February 2012 Optical diffusion property of cerumen from ear canal and correlation to metal content measured by synchrotron x-ray absorption
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Abstract
Human (and other mammals) would secrete cerumen (ear wax) to protect the skin of the ear canal against pathogens and insects. The studies of biodiversity of pathogen in human include intestine microbe colony, belly button microbe colony, etc. Metals such as zinc and iron are essentials to bio-molecular pathways and would be related to the underlying pathogen vitality. This project studies the biodiversity of cerumen via its metal content and aims to develop an optical probe for metal content characterization. The optical diffusion mean free path and absorption of human cerumen samples dissolved in solvent have been measured in standard transmission measurements. EXFAS and XANES have been measured at Brookhaven Synchrotron Light Source for the determination of metal contents, presumably embedded within microbes/insects/skin cells. The results show that a calibration procedure can be used to correlate the optical diffusion parameters to the metal content, thus expanding the diagnostic of cerumen in the study of human pathogen biodiversity without the regular use of a synchrotron light source. Although biodiversity measurements would not be seriously affected by dead microbes and absorption based method would do well, the scattering mean free path method would have potential to further study the cell based scattering centers (dead or live) via the information embedded in the speckle pattern in the deep-Fresnel zone.
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Todd Holden, Sumudu Dehipawala, E. Cheung, U. Golebiewska, P. Schneider, G. Tremberger Jr., D. Kokkinos, D. Lieberman, Sunil Dehipawala, and T. Cheung "Optical diffusion property of cerumen from ear canal and correlation to metal content measured by synchrotron x-ray absorption", Proc. SPIE 8221, Optical Interactions with Tissue and Cells XXIII, 82211L (22 February 2012); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.909896
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