Haemoglobin oxygenation of a two-layer tissue-simulating phantom from time-resolved reflectance: effect of top layer thickness
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A dual wavelength time-resolved reflectance system was developed for monitoring haemoglobin saturation noninvasively. At each wavelength, the time-resolved reflectance data were fitted to a diffusion model of light propagation in a homogeneous, semi-infinite medium to yield the absolute scattering and absorption coefficients. The absorption coefficients were then used to calculate haemoglobin saturation. A two-layer phantom containing human erythrocytes in a scattering solution in the bottom layer was used to study system performance under more realistic conditions. The top layer was chosen to simulate either skin or fat and the oxygenation of the bottom layer, which corresponded to muscle, was controlled. The thickness of the fat layer was varied from 1.5 to 10 mm to investigate the effects of increasing the top layer thickness. These results, obtained with the simple diffusion model, were compared with simultaneous measurements of oxygenation made directly in the bottom layer. Errors in estimating haemoglobin saturation with this method ranged from 5-11% depending on the thickness of the top layer and its optical properties.
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