Terahertz dynamic imaging of skin drug absorption

Kyung Won Kim, Kwang Sung Kim, Hyeongmun Kim, Sang Hun Lee, Jae Hak Park, Ju Hee Han, Seung Hyeok Seok, Jisuk Park, Yoon Seok Choi, Young Il Kim, Joon Koo Han, Joo Hiuk Son

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Terahertz (THz) imaging is a nondestructive, label-free, rapid imaging technique which gives the possibility of a real-time tracing of drugs within the skin. We evaluated the feasibility of THz dynamic imaging for visualizing serial changes in the distribution and penetration of a topical agent, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) containing ketoprofen, using excised mouse skins. THz imaging was performed for 6 h after drug application to the skin and was compared with the results obtained using the Franz cell diffusion test, a standard in vitro skin absorption test. THz dynamic reflection imaging showed that the reflection signals decreased rapidly during the early time period, and remained constant through the late time period. The area of drug permeation within the skin layer on THz imaging increased with time. The dynamic pattern of THz reflection signal decrease was similar to that of DMSO absorption analyzed by the Franz cell diffusion test, which indicates that THz imaging mainly reflects the DMSO component. This study demonstrates that THz imaging technique can be used for imaging the spatial distribution and penetration of drug-applied sites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9476-9484
Number of pages9
JournalOptics Express
Issue number9
StatePublished - 23 Apr 2012


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