Introduction: Malignant melanoma causes more than three quarters of all skin cancer deaths. Current assessment and treatment is complicated by the lack of a reliable non-invasive pre-operative assessment technique. A key feature of melanoma invasion and spread is collagen re-modelling by Matrixmetalloproteinases. Thus collagen architecture can be used as a reliable marker of Melanoma invasion through the tissues, and to define melanoma invasion borders Second Harmonic Generation (SHG) imaging can reliably demonstrates collagen architecture in human skin. SHG imaging employs infrared or longer spectrum pulsed lasers, which enables good depth penetration and no phototoxicity to tissues. Our aims were to use SHG to define collagen architecture in unstained histological sections thereby demonstrating melanoma borders, and to prove that SHG is an interchangeable with conventional techniques such as Melan-A and H&E.
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© 2007 Published by Elsevier Inc.