Additional Therapeutic Indications

The range of applications of confocal laser scanning microscopy is continually expanding.

  • For example, VivaScopes provide a safe and pain-free method to distinguish between two not easily differentiated forms of contact dermatitis (within the first days of the initial symptoms): irritant and allergic contact dermatitis. Both are among the most frequent job-related diseases with skin involvement. It takes a correct diagnosis and a patch test to successfully determine and avoid the allergen in question [1,2].
  • Skin biopsy studies indicate that the density of the Meissner corpuscles (corpuscula tactus) of the finger pads is a suitable parameter to evaluate diabetic or idiopathic sensory neuropathy. Images produced by the VivaScope technology have been used to determine the density of the Meissner corpuscles in vivo quickly and without pain [3].
  • The quick, pain-free, and as non-invasive as possible administration of drugs through skin absorption is of great medical interest. Microchannels across the stratum corneum and epidermis can now be generated with various means. VivaScope laser scanning microscopy can be utilised to quantify in vitro the depth and profile of such channels [4].
  • When applying medical active substances such as salves, lotions, shampoos, etc., the VivaScope method can help provide accurate information about penetration depth and distribution or diffusion of the relevant ingredients. This constitutes an important contribution to research and development [5,6].

[1] Astner S, Burnett N, Rius-Díaz F, Doukas AG, González S, Gonzalez E: “Irritant Contact Dermatitis Induced by a Common Household Irritant: A Noninvasive Evaluation of Ethnic Variability in Skin Response.” J Am Acad Dermatol. 2006; 54(3): 458-65.
[2] Astner S, Gonzalez E, Cheung A, Rius-Diaz F, González S: “Pilot Study on the Sensitivity and Specificity of In Vivo Reflectance Confocal Microscopy in the Diagnosis of Allergic Contact Dermatitis.” J Am Acad Dermatol. 2005; 53(6): 986- 92.
[3] Herrmann D, Boger JN, Jansen C, Alessi-Fox C: “In vivo confocal microscopy of Meissner corpuscles as a measure of sensory neuropathy.” Neurology. 2007; 69: 2121-2127.
[4] Astner S, Gonzalez E, Cheung A, Rius-Diaz F, González S: “Transdermal Microconduits by Microscission for Drug Delivery and Sample Acquisition.” BMC Med. 2004; 2: 12.
[5] Horn M, Koller S, Gerger A, Weger W, Kerl H, Smolle J: “Surgery guided by confocal laser scanning microscopy for foreign filler granulomas.” Dermatol Surg. 2008; 34: 1245-1247.
[6] Yamashita T, Akita H, Astner S, Miyakawa M, Lerner EA, González S: “In vivo assessment of pigmentary and vascular compartments changes in UVA exposed skin by reflectance-mode confocal microscopy.” Exp Dermatol. 2007; 16: 905-911.

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