Numerous methods have been developed to quantify the light scattering properties of tissue. These properties are of interest in diagnostic and screening applications due to sensitivity to changes in tissue ultrastructure and changes associated with disease such as cancer. Tissue is considered a weak scatterer because that the mean free path is much larger than the correlation length. When this is the case, all scattering properties can be calculated from the refractive index correlation function Bn(r).
Direct measurement of Bn(r) is challenging because it requires refractive index measurement at high resolution over a large tissue volume. Instead, a model is usually assumed. One particularly useful model, the Whittle-Matern function includes several realistic function types such as mass fractal and exponential. Optical scattering properties for weakly scattering media can be determined analytically from Bn(r) by applying the Rayleigh-Gans-Debye (RGD) or Born Approximation, and so measured scattering properties are used to fit parameters of the model function. Direct measurement of Bn(r) would provide confirmation that the function is a good representation of tissue or help in identifying the length scale at which changes occur.
The RGD approximation relates the scattering phase function to the refractive index correlation function through a Fourier transform. This can be inverted without approximation, so goniometric measurement of the scattering can be converted to Bn(r). However, geometric constraints of the measurement of the phase function, angular resolution, and wavelength result in a band limited measurement of Bn(r). These limits are discussed and example measurements are described.
Jeremy D. Rogers, "Recovering refractive index correlation function from measurement of tissue scattering phase function
(Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9719, Biophysics, Biology, and Biophotonics: the Crossroads, 97190C (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 13, 2016; Published: 27 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2211877.4848767867001.
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