Differentiation of burn wounds in an in vivo porcine model using terahertz spectroscopy

Biomed Opt Express. 2020 Oct 19;11(11):6528-6535. doi: 10.1364/BOE.397792. eCollection 2020 Nov 1.


The accuracy of current burn triage techniques has remained between 50-70%. Accordingly, there is a significant clinical need for the quantitative and accurate assessment of partial-thickness burn injuries. Porcine skin represents the closest animal model to human skin, and is often used in surgical skin grafting procedures. In this study, we used a standardized in vivo porcine burn model to obtain terahertz (THz) point-spectroscopy measurements from burns with various severities. We then extracted two reflection hyperspectral parameters, namely spectral area under the curve between approximately 0.1 and 0.9 THz (-10 dB bandwidth in each spectrum), and spectral slope, to characterize each burn. Using a linear combination of these two parameters, we accurately classified deep partial- and superficial partial-thickness burns (p = 0.0159), compared to vimentin immunohistochemistry as the gold standard for burn depth determination.