Imaging acute thermal burns by photoacoustic microscopy

Hao F. Zhang, Konstantin Maslov, George Stoica, Lihong V. Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


The clinical significance of a burn depends on the percentage of total body involved and the depth of the burn. Hence a noninvasive method that is able to evaluate burn depth would be of great, help in clinical evaluation. To this end, photoacoustic microscopy is used to determine the depth of acute thermal burns by imaging the total hemoglobin concentration in the blood that accumulates along the boundaries of injuries as a result of thermal damage to the vasculature. We induce acute thermal burns in vivo on pig skin with cautery. Photoacoustic images of the burns are acquired after skin excision. In a burn treated at 175°C for 20 s, the maximum imaged burn depth is 1.73 ±0.07 mm. In burns treated at 150°C for 5, 10, 20, and 30 s, respectively, the trend of increasing maximum burn depth with longer thermal exposure is demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number054033
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2006


  • Noninvasive imaging
  • Partial-thickness burn
  • Photoacoustic imaging
  • Thermal injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


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