M.Sc Thesis

M.Sc StudentHilo Ali
SubjectImaging Wave Propagation in the Skin using Spectrally
Encoded Interferometry
DepartmentDepartment of Biomedical Engineering
Supervisor ASSOCIATE PROF. Dvir Yelin
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


The human skin is the largest organ within the human body. It is a complex of multi-layered tissue and outweighs any other organ in the number of functions performed. The biomechanical properties of the skin have great importance and contribution to the skin’s health and disease, aging and structural integrity. Knowledge and understanding of these properties and behavior can give an engineering insight for a diversity of disciplines, clinical intervention and applications, dermatology, and the cosmetics industry. Contrary to most other organs, skin can be inspected by visual examination. Accordingly, quantitative optical measurements of skin can be used to assess, monitor, and diagnose several skin-related properties. Several studies, based-optical systems, combined with other experimental methods, were conducted to obtain information about skin surface morphology and dermal changes. Here we present, a novel optical technology, Spectrally Encoded Interferometry (SEI), that would allow to non-invasively measure and investigate the mechanical properties of the skin e.g., skin’s elasticity. This technology would allow us to compare scarred and normal skin based on surface wave propagation. We vibrate the skin surface via wave driver while SEI scans the skin surface and captures micron high-resolution images of the desired line to detect the mechanical shear wave propagation. Shear wave propagation on normal skin is documented to homogenously propagate on the skin’s surface, however, scarred skin has non-homogenous surface that connect normal and scarred tissue. These non-continuous areas are characterized by different mode of shear wave propagation. The latter is directly related to the elastic modulus of the sample that differs between normal and scarred skin.