The transmission of 100-fs ultrafast laser pulses through biological tissues was measured by using femtosecond and picosecond time-resolved detection techniques. The broadening of transmitted pulses was found to increase as the thickness of the biological tissue increases. The absence of a distinct ballistic pulse transmitted through a relatively thin tissue is in sharp contrast with the pulse transmission through a random medium of discrete scatterers. Because of the continuous variation of the dielectric constant in tissue, the photons undergo scattering through the tissue, travel in various small zigzag least optical paths, and form a broadened early-arriving portion of the transmitted pulse. Even in the absence of a well-defined ballistic pulse, we can image an opaque object hidden inside a tissue as thick as 6.5 mm with submillimeter resolution by selecting the early-arriving portion of the transmitted pulse.
© 1993 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: January 7, 1992
Published: February 1, 1993
Feng Liu, K. M. Yoo, and R. R. Alfano, "Ultrafast laser-pulse transmission and imaging through biological tissues," Appl. Opt. 32, 554-558 (1993)