Date of Award

12-2009

Degree Name

MS in Engineering - Biomedical Engineering

Department

Biomedical and General Engineering

Advisor

Lily Laiho

Abstract

Laser scanning confocal microscopy (LSCM) is an optical imaging technique that provides improved resolution and sensitivity over conventional methods of optical microscopy. However, the cost of most commercial LSCM systems exceeds the financial limitations of many smaller laboratories. The design of a custom LSCM created at a fraction of the cost of a commercial model is discussed in this paper.

The increase in the incidence rate of skin cancer in the world today is alarming, as such, it is essential to provide an early, rapid and effective method for in vivo diagnostics of human skin tissue. LSCM is capable of detecting alterations in skin morphology and configuration, as well as providing chemical composition information which may be indicative of the development of skin cancer. If developed successfully, LSCM could replace the current invasive biopsy procedures performed today with a quick, non-invasive optical scanning method that would prove beneficial for both patients and physicians alike.

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