Superiority of terahertz over infrared transmission through bandages and burn wound ointments
© 2016 Author(s). Terahertz electromagnetic waves have long been proposed to be ideal for spectroscopy and imaging through non-polar dielectric materials that contain no water. Terahertz radiation may thus be useful for monitoring burn and wound injury recovery, as common care treatments involve application of both a clinical dressing and topical ointment. Here, we investigate the optical properties of typical care treatments in the millimeter wave (150-300 GHz), terahertz (0.3-3 THz), and infrared (14.5-0.67 μm) ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum. We find that THz radiation realizes low absorption coefficients and high levels of transmission compared to infrared wavelengths, which were strongly attenuated. Terahertz imaging can enable safe, non-ionizing, noninvasive monitoring of the healing process directly through clinical dressings and recovery ointments, minimizing the frequency of dressing changes and thus increasing the rate of the healing process.
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