Terahertz imaging of excised oral cancer at frozen temperature

Yookyeong Carolyn Sim, Jae Yeon Park, Kang Min Ahn, Chansik Park, Joo Hiuk Son

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Scopus citations


The feasibility of terahertz (THz) imaging at frozen temperature for the clinical application of oral cancer detection was investigated by analyzing seven oral tissues resected from four patients. The size, shape, and internal position of the oral cancers were mapped by THz radiation in the frequency range of 0.2-1.2 THz at -20 °C and 20 °C, and compared with those identified in the histological examination. THz imaging of frozen tissue was found to offer greater sensitivity in distinguishing cancerous areas from surrounding tissue and a larger THz-frequency spectral difference between the oral cancer and normal mucosa than room-temperature THz imaging. A cancerous tumor hidden inside tissue was also detected using this method by observing the THz temporal domain waveform. The histological analysis showed that these findings resulted from cell structure deformations involving the invasion of oral tumor and neoplastic transformations of mucous cells. Therefore, a cytological approach using THz radiation at a frozen temperature might be applied to detect oral cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1413-1421
Number of pages9
JournalBiomedical Optics Express
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2013


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