Morphology of human sweat ducts observed by optical coherence tomography and their frequency of resonance in the terahertz frequency region

Saroj R. Tripathi, Eisuke Miyata, Paul Ben Ishai, Kodo Kawase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations

Abstract

It is crucial to understand the various biological effects induced by terahertz (THz) electromagnetic waves with the rapid development of electronic and photonic devices operating in the THz frequency region. The presence of sweat glands plays an important role in THz wave interactions with human skin. We investigated the morphological features of sweat ducts using optical coherence tomography (OCT) to further understand such phenomena. We observed remarkable features of the ducts, such as their clear helical structure. The intersubject and intrasubject variations in the diameter of sweat ducts were considerably smaller than the variations in other structural parameters, such as length and number of turns. Based on the sweat duct dimensions and THz dielectric properties of skin measured using terahertz time-domain spectroscopy (THz-TDS), we calculated the resonating frequency of the sweat duct under the assumption of it functioning as a helical antenna. Here, we show that the resonance frequency in the axial mode of operation lies in the THz wave region with a centre frequency of 0.44 ± 0.07 THz. We expect that these findings will further our understanding of the various health consequences of the interaction of THz waves with human beings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9071
JournalScientific Reports
Volume5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

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