Skin to Skin: Sensing Age Through Light
Christopher Yip of the University of Toronto in Canada will test whether measuring skin thickness and cellular composition by non-invasive diffuse optical spectroscopy can be used to estimate the gestational age of newborns, which is important for maternal and child health. They will first determine how light absorption and scattering properties of skin tissue at differing depths correlate with skin structure and then apply their approach to neonates of defined ages. They will also develop relevant hardware and software strategies to translate the selected optical properties into gestational age, and plan to build a low-cost and portable spectroscopy device. In the future, this device could be configured to detect other disease-related biomarkers such as hydration levels.