Monitoring human melanocytic cell responses to piperine using multispectral imaging

Ravikant Samatham, Kevin G. Phillips, Julia Sonka, Aznegashe Yelma, Neha Reddy, Meenakshi Vanka, Philippe Thuillier, Amala Soumyanath, Steven Jacques

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Vitiligo is a depigmentary disease characterized by melanocyte loss attributed most commonly to autoimmune mechanisms. Currently vitiligo has a high incidence (1% worldwide) but a poor set of treatment options. Piperine, a compound found in black pepper, is a potential treatment for the depigmentary skin disease vitiligo, due to its ability to stimulate mouse epidermal melanocyte proliferation in vitro and in vivo. The present study investigates the use of multispectral imaging and an image processing technique based on local contrast to quantify the stimulatory effects of piperine on human melanocyte proliferation in reconstructed epidermis. We demonstrate the ability of the imaging method to quantify increased pigmentation in response to piperine treatment. The quantization of melanocyte stimulation by the proposed imaging technique illustrates the potential use of this technology to quickly assess therapeutic responses of vitiligo tissue culture models to treatment non-invasively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPhotonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics VII
StatePublished - 2011
EventPhotonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics VII - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 22 2011Jan 24 2011

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherPhotonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics VII
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


  • image processing
  • melanin
  • multispectral imaging
  • tissue culture
  • vitiligo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Biomaterials


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