Soft tissues are highly heterogeneous materials comprised of water, proteins, and many types of cells. This composite configuration results in a large mismatch in index of refraction between tissue constituents, creating a high-scattering medium in the visible and near-infrared range. “Tissue optical clearing” can increase light transmission through these tissues, potentially improving both optical diagnostic and therapeutic procedures [1]. Dehydration has been shown to be a mechanism of optical clearing, and previous work has investigated mechanical loading as a method of creating reversible localized water displacement in skin using novel mechanical tissue optical clearing devices (TOCDs) [2]. In addition to potentially enhancing established light-based procedures, the principles of TOCD operation may provide a platform for a novel diagnostic tool capable of utilizing many different measurement types simultaneously.

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