Determination of the optical properties of semi-infinite turbid media from frequency-domain reflectance close to the source
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We investigate theoretically the errors in determining the reduced scattering and absorption coefficients of semi-infinite turbid media from frequency-domain reflectance measurements made at small distances between the source and the detector(s). The errors are due to the uncertainties in the measurement of the phase, the modulation and the steady-state reflectance as well as to the diffusion approximation which is used as a theoretical model to describe light propagation in tissue. Configurations using one and two detectors are examined for the measurement of the phase and the modulation and for the measurement of the phase and the steady-state reflectance. Three solutions of the diffusion equation are investigated. We show that measurements of the phase and the steady-state reflectance at two different distances are best suited for the determination of the optical properties close to the source. For this arrangement the errors in the absorption coefficient due to typical uncertainties in the measurement are greater than those resulting from the application of the diffusion approximation at a modulation frequency of 200 MHz. A Monte Carlo approach is also examined; this avoids the errors due to the diffusion approximation.
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