Both reflectance spectroscopy and the determination Young's Modulus of
skin have shown promise for identifying skin pathology. At present, these determinations are carried out using separate methodologies. This study demonstrates a new technology combining digital UV/VIS reflectance spectroscopy and vacuum aspiration for simultaneously determining the reflectance spectrum and mechanical properties of human skin tissue. A small hand held prototype device incorporating fiber-optic light guides into a vacuum channel was calibrated using various elastic materials subjected to increments of stress by vacuum from 0 to 25 in Hg. The intensity of a UV/VIS light beam reflected from the material at each vacuum increment was compared to the resulting material strain. The reflected beam was also spectrophotometrically analyzed. Skin types were similarly evaluated comparing normal and scar tissue and skin of various ages and coloration. An exponential relationship between reflected beam intensity and the amount of strain resulting from vacuum increments was observed. Young's Modulus (calculated from Aoki et. al equation) and spectra from normal skin and scar tissue were in agreement with previously published observations. Age related decreases in skin elasticity were also demonstrated. In the reflectance spectra, oxy
and deoxy-hemoglobin absorbance bands were detected, becoming significantly enhanced at increased levels of vacuum. Melanin absorbance was also easily detected and appeared to correlate with skin coloration. Since superficial skin pathologies have characteristic spectroscopic and mechanical properties, this technique may provide a promising new approach for rapid, non-invasive method for the evaluation of skin lesions.
The spatial distribution of neurodegeneration in brains is difficult to visualize when working from 2-D serial slices. In studies where repetitive operant behavior measurements are made over several weeks following organic solvent exposure, definitive evidence of degeneration in brain structures may have been significantly cleared by the time the tissue is prepared histologically. The only remaining evidence that injury has occurred may be nothing more than neuronal and cellular debris. By choosing stains that are specific for this type of residual and/or indicative of specific pathology, a 3-D representation of the spatial distribution of the neuronal and cellular debris fields within the organ can be highlighted and displayed. We present a method for visualizing the spatial distribution of neuronal degeneration that can result from low-level organic solvent exposure scenarios. A cupric-silver stain highly specific for neuronal degeneration is used to identify neuronal debris fields in 73 serial slices of brains of rodents that were exposed to toluene vapors. Serial brain sections stained with cupric-silver are scanned at 600 dpi using a gray-scale protocol. Using commercially available software, scans are assembled into 3-D images showing both topographical and internal anatomical details. The reassembled images are further processed into stereo pairs. Gray-scale scans are compared to the original sections to establish gray-scale ranges for healthy and damaged tissue and artifact staining.
Recognizing spatial relationships of neuro-degeneration in brains exposed to organic solvents is difficult when working from 2-dimensional serial slices. Recent advances in software have allowed the assembly of serial sections of stained tissue into a 3-dimensional (3D) representations. Appropriately chosen stains indicative of specific pathology can be highlighted and the 3D representation of its spatial distribution within the organ displayed. The purpose of this work was to develop a method for visualizing the spatial distribution of neuronal degeneration following organic solvent exposure. A cupric silver stain highly specific for degenerating neurons was used to identify neuronal degeneration in 83 serial histologic sections of brains of rodents exposed to toluene. Brain sections were scanned at 600 dpi using a grey-scale protocol. Scans were assembled into 3D images which were further processed into stereo pairs. Grey-scale scans were compared to the original sections in order to establish grey-scale ranges for healthy and damaged tissue and artifact staining. The respective categories then were assigned pseudo-colors to improve contrast.