Collagen as in vivo quantitative fluorescent biomarkers of abnormal tissue changes

O. D. Smirnova*, D. A. Rogatkin, K. S. Litvinova

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Collagen is an endogenous fluorophore that accounts for about 70% of all proteins of human skin, so it can be an optical marker for structural abnormalities in tissues registered by laser fluorescent diagnostics in vivo. Using the examples of such abnormalities as scars, scleroderma and basal cell carcinoma, this study shows the differences between coefficients of fluorescent contrast k f(λ) of abnormalities from the ones for healthy tissues at fluorescent excitation wavelength 360380 nm. It is shown that scars and dysplasia are characterized by reduced values of k f(λ) for collagen. Due to high turbidity and phase heterogeneousness as well as variation of parameters of blood microcirculation and concentrations of other related chromophores, there is no mathematical model that precisely calculates the concentration of collagen in tissues only with the use of the value of fluorescent signal intensity. So, probably, the best marker of the pathological process is a comprehensive representation of k f(λ) for all endogenous fluorophores, i.e., for all used visible wavelengths. In this case identification of abnormal tissues is quite possible by detecting some deviations of coefficients k f(λ) for the optically identical and symmetrical regions of the human body.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1250010
JournalJournal of Innovative Optical Health Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


  • collagen
  • fluorescence
  • Medical diagnostics
  • scars
  • spectroscopy


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