Assessment of Bandaged Burn Wounds Using Porcine Skin and Millimetric Radiometry

Sensors (Basel). 2019 Jul 4;19(13):2950. doi: 10.3390/s19132950.


This paper describes the experimental setup and measurements of the emissivity of porcine skin samples over the band of 80-100 GHz. Measurements were conducted on samples with and without dressing materials and before and after the application of localized heat treatments. Experimental measurements indicate that the differences in the mean emissivity values between unburned skin and burned damaged skin was up to ~0.28, with an experimental measurement uncertainty of ±0.005. Measured differences in the mean emissivity values between unburned and burn damaged skin increases with the depth of the burn, indicating a possible non-contact technique for assessing the degree of a burn. The mean emissivity of the dressed burned skin was found to be slightly higher than the undressed burned skin, typically ~0.01 to ~0.02 higher. This indicates that the signature of the burn caused by the application of localized heat treatments is observable through dressing materials. These findings reveal that radiometry, as a non-contact method, is capable of distinguishing between normal and burn-damaged skin under dressing materials without their often-painful removal. This indicates the potential of using millimeter wave (MMW) radiometry as a new type of medical diagnostic to monitor burn wounds.

Keywords: burn wound; dressing materials; millimeter-wave; passive imaging; radiometry.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bandages*
  • Burns
  • Models, Biological
  • Radiometry / instrumentation
  • Radiometry / methods*
  • Skin / injuries*
  • Swine
  • Temperature
  • Wound Healing