Electrical injury is a devastating and hard to treat clinical lesion. Fully understanding the pathophysiology of electrical trauma is still a challenge for clinicians and scientists. Further elucidating the natural history of this form of tissue injury could be helpful in improving limb salvage and offering stage-appropriate therapy. Multi-spectral imaging technique is a non-invasive technology that can be used to determine optical properties of tissues in and adjacent to injury. Images at different wavelengths can provide essential information related to the pathophysiological condition of the tissue. To promote the applicability of this technique in medical diagnosis, we built a complete experimental model of electrical injury. In this model, electrical injuries were created by a reliable high-tension shock system at preset voltage or current. A thermal camera recorded the change of skin temperature during the electrical shock. Then, a high-resolution spectral imaging system based on structured illumination was used to capture images for post analysis to extrapolate optical properties of the tissue. To test accuracy, this imaging system was calibrated by using a set of epoxy phantoms with known optical properties. In this paper, the results of experiments conducted on rats and discussions on the systemic changes in tissue optical properties before and after electrical shock are presented.© (2010) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.