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A low-cost imaging tool to examine cellular details of the skin is improved.

Content-aware image restoration (CARE) technology shown to improve image quality when screening for skin cancer.

By Emilee Green | May 21, 2021

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Wausau, WI (May 21, 2021) – Reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM) is an optical microscopy method that can non-invasively examine cellular details of human skin. Through numerous clinical studies, RCM was shown to provide high diagnostic accuracy for the most common skin cancers. However, the high cost of commercial RCM machines has prevented them from widespread clinical adoption.

Portable confocal microscopy (PCM) is a low-cost reflectance confocal microscopy technique but its image quality is often degraded by motion blur. This study takes a deep learning-based approach using content-aware image restoration (CARE) to reduce noise in confocal images obtained at high speed.

This study, published in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine (LSM), the official journal of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Inc. (ASLMS), was selected as the May 2021 Editor’s Choice.

The study, led by Dongkyun Kang, PhD, is titled “Deep Learning-Based Denoising in High-Speed Portable Reflectance Confocal Microscopy.”  

“The deep learning-based approach quantitatively and qualitatively improved the confocal image quality,” said Kang. “It increases the image sharpness and enables real-time 3D imaging.”

Dongkyun-Kang-PhDDr. Dongkyun “DK” Kang is an Assistant Professor of Optical Sciences and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Arizona. Prior to joining the U of A, Dr. Kang worked as an Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Kang received his PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). His research is focused on developing in vivo microscopy technologies for guiding disease diagnosis in low-resource settings.

Editor’s Choice is an exclusive article published in LSM, the official journal of the ASLMS. View the complete manuscript.

The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Inc. (ASLMS) is the largest multidisciplinary professional organization dedicated to the development and application of lasers and related technology for health care applications. ASLMS promotes excellence in patient care by advancing biomedical application of lasers and other related technologies worldwide. ASLMS membership includes physicians, surgeons, nurses, and allied health professionals representing multiple specialties, physicists involved in product development, biomedical engineers, biologists, industry representatives and manufacturers. For more information, visit


The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery is the world’s largest scientific organization dedicated to promoting research, education and high standards of clinical care in the field of medical laser applications. It provides a forum for the exchange of scientific information and participation in communicating the latest developments in laser medicine and surgery to clinicians, research investigators, government and regulatory agencies, and the public.

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