Skin and cutaneous melanocytic lesion simulation in biomedical optics with multilayered phantoms.

Research paper by P P Urso, M M Lualdi, A A Colombo, M M Carrara, S S Tomatis, R R Marchesini

Indexed on: 03 May '07Published on: 03 May '07Published in: Physics in medicine and biology


The complex inner layered structure of skin influences the photon diffusion inside the cutaneous tissues and determines the reflectance spectra formation. Phantoms are very useful tools to understand the biophysical meaning of parameters involved in light propagation through the skin. To simulate the skin reflectance spectrum, we realized a multilayered skin-like phantom and a multilayered skin phantom with a melanoma-like phantom embedded inside. Materials used were Al(2)O(3) particles, melanin of sepia officinalis and a calibrator for haematology systems dispersed in transparent silicon. Components were optically characterized with indirect techniques. Reflectance phantom spectra were compared with average values of in vivo spectra acquired on a sample of 573 voluntary subjects and 132 pigmented lesions. The phantoms' reflectance spectra agreed with those measured in vivo, mimicking the optical behaviour of the human skin. Further, the phantoms were optically stable and easily manageable, and represented a valid resource in spectra formation comprehension, in diagnostic laser applications and simulation model implementation, such as the Monte Carlo code for non-homogeneous media.