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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2002 April;137(2):73-83

Copyright © 2002 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

In vivo UV skin fluorescence

Nikiforos K., Brancaleon L.

From the Johnson & Johnson, Consumer Product Worldwide, Skillman, NJ, USA *Department of Dermatology and Photobiology Unit, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee, Scotland


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In this review we will present a general overview of in vivo skin autofluorescence spectroscopy (AFS). AFS is considered an attractive method to develop non-invasive diagnostic devices. AFS is generated when tissues are irradiated with ultraviolet or visible light. Part of the light is adsorbed by fluorescent molecules (chromophores) naturally present in the tissue (endogenous). The combination of the fluorescence of these molecules forms the AF spectrum. This can be recorded using a spectrometer equipped with a bifurcated optical fiber by placing the distal end of the fiber in contact with the surface of the skin. Since endogenous chromophores may be affected by changes due to tissue abnormalities, AFS may be used to detect or monitor diseases that manifest through skin. In this review we overview the general concept of tissue optics and tissue fluorescence. We review the chromophores present in skin and their spectra. We review emission and excitation spectra of “normal” skin. We present an overview of the work that has been carried out to apply AFS to investigate skin abnormalities such as ageing, photoagaeing and skin cancer

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