In vivo autofluorescence of an unpigmented melanoma in mice. Correlation of spectroscopic properties to microscopic structure

H. J.C.M. Sterenborg, S. Thomsen, S. L. Jacques, M. Motamedi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations


Recently, fluorescence spectroscopy and imaging have been under investigation for in vivo diagnosis of several types of superficial cancer, including primary melanomas of the skin. Here we report on a detailed investigation of the autofluorescence properties of a K1735P melanoma implanted intradermally in the ears of syngeneic C3H/HeN mice. Although this tumour can produce melanin in some cases, it appeared as an unpigmented lesion in our experiments. Excitation-emission maps in the wavelength range of 360–700 nm were recorded from tumours and normal ears. The control ears and the tumour-bearing ears showed fluorescence in a broad range of excitation and emission wavelengths. Valleys of decreased fluorescence were observed in the 385–425 nm range and could be related to absorption of the excitation light by haemoglobin, oxyhaemoglobin and a third unknown absorber. The spectroscopic differences between the malignant melanoma and the control skin could be related to either differences in blood oxygenation or the tissue dimensions. However, no spectroscopic features were detected reflecting intrinsic differences between the melanoma and normal tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-216
Number of pages6
JournalMelanoma Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1995



  • Autofluorescence
  • Biliverdin
  • Early detection
  • Optical biopsy
  • Pheophorbide-a
  • Spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Dermatology
  • Cancer Research

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