There are a number of techniques for body composition assessment in clinics and in field-surveys, but in all cases the
applied methods have advantages and disadvantages. High precision imaging methods are available, though expensive
and non-portable, however, the methods devised for the mass population, often suffer from the lack of precision.
Therefore, the development of a safe, mobile, non-invasive, optical method that would be easy to perform, precise and
low-cost, but also would offer an accurate assessment of subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) both in lean and in obese
persons is required. Thereof, the diffuse optical spectroscopy is advantageous over the aforementioned techniques.
A prototype device using an optical method for measurement of the SAT thickness in vivo has been developed. The
probe contained multiple LEDs (660nm) distributed at various distances from the photo-detector which allow different
light penetration depths into the subcutaneous tissue.
The differences of the reflected light intensities were used to create a non-linear model, and the computed values were
compared with the corresponding thicknesses of SAT, assessed by B-mode ultrasonography.
The results show that with the optical system used in this study, accurate results of different SAT thicknesses can be
obtained, and imply a further potential for development of multispectral optical system to observe changes of SAT
thickness as well as to determine the percentage of total body fat.