Optical properties of normal and diseased human breast tissues in the visible and near infrared
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The optical absorption and scattering coefficients have been determined for specimens of normal and diseased human breast tissues over the range of wavelengths from 500 to 1100 nm. Total attenuation coefficients were measured for thin slices of tissue cut on a microtome. The diffuse reflectance and transmittance were measured for 1.0 mm thick samples of these tissues, using standard integrating sphere techniques. Monte Carlo simulations were performed to derive the scattering and absorption coefficients, as well as the mean cosine of the scattering angle. The results indicate that scatter exceeds absorption by at least two orders of magnitude. Absorption is most significant at wavelengths below 600 nm. The scattering coefficients lie in the range 30-90 mm-1 at 500 nm, and fall smoothly with increasing wavelength to between 10 and 50 mm-1 at 1100 nm. The scattering coefficient for adipose tissue differs, in that it is invariant with wavelength over this spectral range. For all tissues examined, the scattered light is highly forward peaked, with the mean cosine of the scattering angle in the range 0.945-0.985. Systematic differences between the optical properties of some tissue types are demonstrated.
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