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Modeling diffuse reflectance measurements of light scattered by layered tissues


In this dissertation, we first present a model for the diffuse reflectance due to a continuous beam incident normally on a half space composed of a uniform scattering and absorbing medium. This model is the result of an asymptotic analysis of the radiative transport equation for strong scattering, weak absorption and a defined beam width. Through comparison with the diffuse reflectance computed using the numerical solution of the radiative transport equation, we show that this diffuse reflectance model gives results that are accurate for small source-detector separation distances.

We then present an explicit model for the diffuse reflectance due to a collimated beam of light incident normally on layered tissues. This model is derived using the corrected diffusion approximation applied to a layered medium, and it takes the form of a convolution with an explicit kernel and the incident beam profile. This model corrects the standard diffusion approximation over all source-detector separation distances provided the beam is sufficiently wide compared to the scattering mean-free path. We validate this model through comparison with Monte Carlo simulations. Then we use this model to estimate the optical properties of an epithelial layer from Monte Carlo simulation data. Using measurements at small source-detector separations and this model, we are able to estimate the absorption coefficient, scattering coefficient and anisotropy factor of epithelial tissues efficiently with reasonable accuracy.

Finally, we present an extension of the corrected diffusion approximation for an obliquely incident beam. This model is formed through a Fourier Series representation in the azimuthal angle which allows us to exhibit the break in axisymmetry when combined with the previous analysis. We validate this model with Monte Carlo simulations. This model can also be written in the form of a convolution of an explicit kernel with the incident beam profile. Additionally, it can be used to improve computation of the optical properties.

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