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Terahertz dynamic imaging of skin drug absorption.


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.

Authors+Show Affiliations


Department of Radiology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Yeongun-dong, Seoul, Korea.

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Optics express 20:9 2012 Apr 23 pg 9476-84


Equipment Design
Equipment Failure Analysis
Image Enhancement
Metabolic Clearance Rate
Skin Absorption
Terahertz Imaging
Tissue Distribution

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't



PubMed ID