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Research Papers

Enhanced Thermographic Detection of Skin Cancer Through Combining Laser Scanning and Biodegradable Nanoparticles

[+] Author and Article Information
Chao Jin, Xue-Yao Yang

Department of Biomedical Engineering,
School of Medicine,
Tsinghua University,
Beijing 100084, China

Zhi-Zhu He

Beijing Key Lab of Cryo-Biomedical Engineering
and Key Lab of Cryogenics,
Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences,
Beijing 100190, China

Jing Liu

Department of Biomedical Engineering,
School of Medicine,
Tsinghua University,
Beijing 100084, China;
Beijing Key Lab of Cryo-Biomedical
Engineering and Key Lab of Cryogenics,
Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry,
Chinese Academy of Sciences,
Beijing 100190, China
e-mail: jliubme@tsinghua.edu.cn

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received October 13, 2012; final manuscript received February 20, 2013; published online July 11, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Liang Zhu.

J. Nanotechnol. Eng. Med 4(1), 011004 (Jul 11, 2013) (8 pages) Paper No: NANO-12-1126; doi: 10.1115/1.4024129 History: Received October 13, 2012; Revised February 20, 2013

Through introducing biodegradable magnesium nanoparticles (Mg-NPs) with excellent property in absorbing laser photon, this paper is dedicated to present a laser scanning based thermogaphic strategy for detecting the skin cancer. It aims at selectively enhancing the thermal responses of the target regions so as to distinguish the tumor from the normal tissues on the infrared images. The carried out three-dimensional simulations and conceptual experiments quantitatively demonstrated the feasibility of the present method in improving the sensitivity and targeting-ability (i.e., specificity) of the thermography. Further parametric studies on the thermal enhanced effects such as by varying the parameters of laser beam (i.e., laser power, action time, and moving frequency) and Mg-NPs (i.e., nanoparticle concentration) disclose more quantitative mechanisms for achieving a better output of the diagnosis. The results indicate the following facts: (1) The parameters could be selected to significantly improve the sensitivity of the thermal detection, such that the maximum temperature difference could even reach 2.31 °C; (2) for safety concern to human body, the default parameter setting (P = 1 W, Δt = 40 ms, f = 1 Hz, n = 0.02 mg/ml) can be a good choice and enhanced results can thus be easily detected; and (3) with the unique biodegradable merits, the Mg-NPs can be considered as an extremely useful agent for enhancing thermogaphy in identifying the early stage tumor.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic of the proposed laser scanning modality for detecting the tumor embedded in the skin tissue

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Fig. 2

Comparison between the nondimensional heat source without (a)–(c) and with (d)–(f) Mg-NPs during the laser scanning process at section y = 2.5 mm. Here, (a), (b), and (c), respectively, denote the simulation results when the laser beam is located at the site of x = 1.5 mm, 2.5 mm, and 3.5 mm (the default y = 2.5 mm and z = 0 mm); (d)–(f) are the corresponding calculation results of heat source for the case of tumor tissue with Mg-NPs.

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Fig. 3

Comparison of the transient temperature difference profile between cases without (a) and with (b) Mg-NPs. Here, three profiles are the transient thermal response of three sites located at z = 0 mm, 0.10 mm, and 0.35 mm, respectively; the coordinate values of x and y of the three points are all set as 2.5 mm.

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Fig. 4

Comparison between the temperature distributions at the skin surface without (a)–(c) and with (d)–(f) Mg-NPs during the laser scanning process at section y = 2.5 mm. Here, (a), (b), and (c), respectively, denote the simulation results when the laser beam is located at the site of x = 1.5 mm, 2.5 mm, and 3.5 mm (the default y = 2.5 mm and z = 0 mm); (d)–(f) are the corresponding calculation results of temperature mapping at the skin surface for the case of tumor composited with Mg-NPs.

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Fig. 5

The temperature response profile at the skin surface induced by the laser stimulation with varying power of 1 W–2 W at transient time of (a) t = 0.04 s, (b) t = 1.04 s, and (c) t = 2.04 s

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Fig. 6

The temperature response profile at the skin surface induced by the laser stimulation with varying action time of 40 ms–80 ms

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Fig. 7

The temperature response profile at the skin surface induced by the laser stimulation with varying moving frequency of 0.1 Hz–10 Hz

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Fig. 8

The temperature response profile at the skin surface induced by the laser stimulation for the cases of tumor composited with varying Mg-NPs concentrations of 0, 0.02, 0.06, and 0.10 mg/ml at transient time of (a) t = 0.04 s, (b) t = 1.04 s, and (c) t = 2.04 s. n denotes the concentration of Mg-NPs.

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Fig. 9

The thermal images of the solid phantom with Mg-NPs concentration of 0.02 mg/ml during the laser heating and recovering process. (a), (b), (c), and (d) represent the thermal image data at 0 s, 15 s, 20 s, and 25 s, respectively.

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Fig. 10

The temperature response profile of phantom samples with varying Mg-NPs concentrations of 0, 0.02, 0.06, and 0.10 mg/ml during the laser heating and recovering period in the region. Here, ΔT denotes the temperature difference between transient and initial average temperature in the circle region with 4 pixels in the thermal image (the center is laser spot center).

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