Methods for Registering and Calibrating in Vivo Terahertz Images of Cutaneous Burn Wounds

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A method to register THz and visible images of cutaneous burn wounds and to calibrate THz image data is presented. Images of partial and full thickness burn wounds in 9 rats were collected over 435 mins. = 7.25 hours following burn induction. A two-step process was developed to reference the unknown structure of THz imaging contrast to the known structure and the features present in visible images of the injury. This process enabled the demarcation of a wound center for each THz image, independent of THz contrast. Threshold based segmentation enabled the automated identification of air (0% reflectivity), brass (100% reflectivity), and abdomen regions within the registered THz images. Pixel populations, defined by the segmentations, informed unsupervised image calibration and contrast warping for display. The registered images revealed that the largest variation in THz tissue reflectivity occurred superior to the contact region at ~0.13%/min. Conversely the contact region showed demonstrated an ~6.5-fold decrease at ~0.02%/min. Exploration of occlusion effects suggests that window contact may affect the measured edematous response.



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