Measurement of skin stretch via light reflection

Nejat Guzelsu, John F. Federici, Hee C. Lim, Hans R. Chauhdry, Art B. Ritter, Tom Findley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


A noninvasive technique for measuring the stretch of skin is described. The technique utilizes changes in the reflectivity of polarized light intensity as a monitor of skin stretch. Measurements of in vitro pigskin and in vivo human skin show that the reflectivity of polarized light intensity increases linearly with stretch. The changes in diffusive reflectivity properties of skin result from the alterations that take place in the roughness across the thickness of the skin layers due to stretch. Conceptually, as the roughness of a layer decreases with stretch, a smoother reflecting media is produced, resulting in a proportional increase in the specular reflection. Results can be easily extended to a real-time stretch analysis of large tissue areas that would be applicable for mapping the stretch of skin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-86
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


  • Light reflection
  • Polarization imaging
  • Skin roughness
  • Skin stretch


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