Investigation of Keratinizing Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Tongue Using Terahertz Reflection Imaging

  • Young Bin Ji
  • Jung Min Kim
  • Young Han Lee
  • Yuna Choi
  • Da Hee Kim
  • Yong-Min Huh
  • Seung Jae OhEmail author
  • Yoon Woo KohEmail author
  • Jin-Suck SuhEmail author


We investigated the feasibility of using terahertz (THz) reflection imaging to detect keratinizing squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the tongue. Four fresh keratinizing SCC tissues were studied, which had been surgically resected. All of the keratinizing SCCs were well distinguished from normal healthy tissues. We showed that the tumor regions exhibited low THz reflection despite having higher water content than normal regions. The refractive indices and absorption coefficients were low in the tumor tissues despite the relatively high water content. Our results showed that there were dominant factors such as keratin pearls, other than the water content affecting the THz reflection signal.


Terahertz imaging Medical and biological imaging Terahertz spectroscopy Tissue diagnostics Optical diagnostics for medicine 



This work was supported by National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MOE) (2016R1D1A1B03933168, NRF-2017R1A2B1010381); Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) grant funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (HI16C0179); Technology Innovation Program funded By the Ministry of Trade, industry & Energy (MI, Korea) (10060136); KIST intramural funding grant (2E27270).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

The Institutional Review Board and Hospital Research Ethics Committee of Severance Hospital approved our study protocol. All patients involved in the study provided written, informed consent for inclusion in the study

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.YUHS-KRIBB Medical Convergence Research InstituteYonsei University College of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Gimhae Biomedical CenterGimhae Industry Promotion & Biomedical FoundationGimhaeSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Severance HospitalYonsei University College of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea
  4. 4.Department of Radiology, Severance HospitalYonsei University College of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea

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