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Oct 20, 2020 Products

Distinguishes Melanin & Vascular Network in Skin with 3D Images

TOKYO, Japan – October 20, 2020 – Leading semiconductor test equipment supplier Advantest Corporation (TSE: 6857) has developed a dual-wavelength laser for the company's Hadatomo™ Z photoacoustic microscope that enables 3D imaging of melanin and vascular networks in the skin. The spatial relationship between melanin and the vascular network, which is difficult to perceive with the previous model, can be grasped at a glance, leading to applications in dermatological research, cosmetology, and medical research.

Features of the New Technology

Advantest's new dual-wavelength laser, with wavelengths of 575 nm and 650 nm, was developed by applying the company's proprietary wavelength conversion technology*1 based on optical parametric generation. The 532 nm and 556 nm wavelengths hitherto used by the Hadatomo™ Z have a high hemoglobin absorption coefficient and are suitable for imaging the vascular network, and also have a high melanin absorption coefficient, so melanin and the vascular network are imaged at the same time. Melanin is distributed in the basal layer of the epidermis, and blood vessels are located in the papillary layer of the dermis. Both are located at approximately the same depth, making it difficult to distinguish them in images.

The 650 nm wavelength generated by the new technology has a high melanin absorption coefficient and a low hemoglobin absorption coefficient, enabling melanin to be selectively imaged. By superimposing these images on vascular network images obtained at the wavelength of 575 nm, melanin and blood vessels are 3D imaged in a format where they can be distinguished from one another. In addition, the new laser's light source and power supply are compact enough to be easily mounted on the Hadatomo™ Z.

  • Relationship between wavelength and absorption coefficient
  • Hadatomo™ Z
    photoacoustic microscope

Example Applications of New Technology

  • Measurement of human upper arm (Fig.1) In the image on the left, generated with a 532 nm laser, both melanin and blood vessels are imaged and are difficult to distinguish. On the other hand, the new dual-wavelength laser can separate melanin and blood vessels and display them in different colors. The green in the image on the right shows melanin and the red shows the vascular network.
  • Measurement of scalp (Fig.2) The roots of the hair inside the skin and the vascular network of the scalp can be imaged in 3D. The new dual-wavelength laser makes it possible to measure melanin distribution and blood circulation.
  • (Fig.1)
  • (Fig.2)

The dual-wavelength laser using the new technology is being used in research by POLA CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES, INC. Results will be announced at the 31st IFSCC (International Federation of Societies of Cosmetic Chemists) Congress*2. Advantest will start accepting orders for products equipped with the new dual-wavelength laser around December 2020.

*1 The wavelength conversion technology is the result of a joint R&D project carried out by the National Institute for Materials Science of Japan and Advantest Laboratories Ltd.

*2 The presentation of the results will be entitled "As-is status measurement performed by a double alive imaging technology for investigating the physical property of skin-aging process – Photoacoustic imaging technology and a deep-learning algorithm for investigating the contributions of skin inner condition to an appeared impression on the face–."

Note: All information supplied in this release is correct at the time of publication, but may be subject to change.