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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 40, Iss. 34 — Dec. 1, 2001
  • pp: 6356–6366

Validity of the diffusion approximation in bio-optical imaging

Bingquan Chen, Knut Stamnes, and Jakob J. Stamnes  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 40, Issue 34, pp. 6356-6366 (2001)

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Accurate numerical simulations based on rigorous radiative transfer theory are used to assess the validity of the diffusion approximation that is frequently used in bio-optical imaging. These simulations show that the error is large for a non-index-matched boundary between air and tissue. This weakness of the diffusion approximation underscores the need to understand how diffusion theory can be used to extract accurate values of tissue optical properties. A validity criterion for the diffusion approximation is established on the basis of the single-scattering albedo a and the asymmetry factor g for a slab with index-matched boundaries.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(170.0170) Medical optics and biotechnology : Medical optics and biotechnology
(170.3660) Medical optics and biotechnology : Light propagation in tissues
(290.1990) Scattering : Diffusion

Original Manuscript: November 1, 2000
Revised Manuscript: April 23, 2001
Published: December 1, 2001

Bingquan Chen, Knut Stamnes, and Jakob J. Stamnes, "Validity of the diffusion approximation in bio-optical imaging," Appl. Opt. 40, 6356-6366 (2001)

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