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29 July 2003 Internal refractive index changes affect light transport in tissue
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This investigation explores the effect of index of refraction, as an optical property, on light transport through optically turbid media. We describe a model of light propagation that incorporates the influence of refractive index mismatch at boundaries within a domain. We measure light transmission through turbid cylindrical phantoms with different distributions of refractive index. These distributions approximate the heterogeneous, layered nature of biological tissue. Finite element method model calculations of diffuse transmittance through these phantoms show good agreement with the trends observed experimentally. We see that phase measurements of light that propagates through approximately 90 (mm) of scatter-dominated media may vary by 10 degrees depending upon the values of refractive index of the medium. Amplitude measurements are not as sensitive to this parameter as phase. Model calculations of diffuse reflectance from a semi-infinite slab geometry with different layers also shows good agreement with Monte Carlo simulations. We conclude that incorporating refractive index into light transport models may be worthwhile. Applying such a model in tomographic image reconstruction may improve the estimation of optical properties of biological tissues.
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Ben A. Brooksby, Hamid Dehghani, Karthik Vishwanath, Brian W. Pogue, and Keith D. Paulsen "Internal refractive index changes affect light transport in tissue", Proc. SPIE 4955, Optical Tomography and Spectroscopy of Tissue V, (29 July 2003);

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