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Date:11/2/2009

h of light is used to heat up the skin. An infrared camera captures a series of images over time that display the temperature of the skin, represented by colors. An algorithm developed by Argonne is used to calculate the temperature change and determine the thermal effusivity of different areas of the skin.

"How quickly the skin cools is related to the structure underneath. Damaged skin cells have different effusivity values compared to that of healthy skin, said James Chu, PhD, chairperson of the section of medical physics at Rush. "By identifying the earliest changes in damaged tissue, we may be able to predict acute skin toxicities."

Preliminary data from the study show that marked decreases in thermal effusivity of irradiated skin occur well in advance of the development of high grade skin reactions.

"Our initial data with radiation induced skin changes are quite encouraging," said Dr. Alan Coon, chief resident of radiation oncology at Rush and primary author on the study. "In addition to finding decreases in effusivity of the treated areas many days before the development of skin reactions, we have also seen that the magnitude of these decreases varies with the grade of the reactions. This exciting result bodes well for the clinical utility of this technique in predicting the severity of a skin reaction before it occurs."

In addition, researchers note that 3DTT techniques can be used to measure these tissue property changes noninvasively with no interruption of therapy and the technique allowed for rapid feedback.

"3DTT may also be used to detect other skin diseases such as skin cancer and measure skin damage caused by electricity or lightening. Such applications require the determinations of tissue conditions below the skin that is normally not visible but can be measured by 3DTT," said J.G. Sun, a mechanical engineer at Argonne.

Researchers plan to perform additional studies to confirm the preliminary
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Contact: Kim Waterman
Kimberly_Waterman@rush.edu
312-942-7820
Rush University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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