• optical coherence tomography;
  • human skin;
  • mechanical compression


Modern optical diagnostic techniques often require deformations of the studied biotissues for image acquisition. This paper discusses the effect of mechanical compression on the formation of OCT images of human skin. The study was performed in vivo on human volunteers of different age. We show that application of compression to human skin induces changes in optical properties of the sample associated with elasticity of different skin layers. These changes induce an increase in the contrast of interlayer boundaries. Further application of compression causes the appearance of dark areas in the OCT images obtained, likely associated with interstitial or intracellular water inflow to the observed region. The effects studied are of importance for proper interpretation of obtained OCT images in diagnosis of skin pathologies. (© 2010 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)