Melanin-dependent tissue interactions induced by a 755-nm picosecond-domain laser: complementary visualization by optical imaging and histology

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  • Kevin Jacobsen
  • Vinzent Kevin Ortner
  • Gabriella Louise Fredman
  • Rikke Louise Christensen
  • Christine Dierickx
  • Emil Tanghetti
  • Uwe Paasch
  • Hædersdal, Merete

Fractional picosecond-domain lasers (PSL) induce optical breakdown, which correlates histologically to vacuolization in the epidermis and dermis. In this ex vivo porcine study, we sought to establish a framework for the investigation of laser-tissue interactions and their dependence on melanin density. Light- (melanin index: 24.5 [0–100]), medium- (58.7), and dark-pigmented (> 98) porcine skin samples were exposed to a 755-nm fractional PSL and examined with dermoscopy, line-field confocal optical coherence tomography (LC-OCT), conventional OCT, and subsequently biopsied for digitally stained ex vivo confocal microscopy (EVCM) and histology, using hematoxylin and eosin (HE) and Warthin-Starry (WS) melanin staining. Dermoscopy showed focal whitening in medium- and dark-pigmented skin. Similarly, LC-OCT and OCT visualized melanin-dependent differences in PSL-induced tissue alterations. Vacuoles were located superficially in the epidermis in dark-pigmented skin but at or below the dermal–epidermal junction in medium-pigmented skin; in light-pigmented skin, no vacuoles were observed. Histology confirmed the presence of vacuoles surrounded by areas void of WS staining and disrupted stratum corneum in darker skin. The combined use of optical imaging for multiplanar visualization and histological techniques for examination of all skin layers may mitigate the effect of common artifacts and attain a nuanced understanding of melanin-dependent laser-tissue interactions.

TidsskriftLasers in Medical Science
Udgave nummer1
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - 2023

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Diana Høeg and Uffe Olesen for their assistance in conducting this study.

Funding Information:
Open access funding provided by Royal Library, Copenhagen University Library Picosecond laser equipment was funded by Cynosure; KJ and GLF are supported by the Danish Research Center for Skin Cancer, a public–private research partnership between the Private Hospital Molholm, Aalborg University Hospital and Copenhagen University Hospital, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).

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