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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: James C. Wyant
  • Vol. 46, Iss. 27 — Sep. 20, 2007
  • pp: 6669–6679

Transport- and diffusion-based optical tomography in small domains: a comparative study

Kui Ren, Guillaume Bal, and Andreas H. Hielscher  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 46, Issue 27, pp. 6669-6679 (2007)

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We compare reconstructions based on the radiative transport and diffusion equations in optical tomography for media of small sizes. While it is well known that the diffusion approximation is less accurate to describe light propagation in such media, it has not yet been shown how this inaccuracy affects the images obtained with model-based iterative image reconstructions schemes. Using synthetic nondifferential data we calculate the error in the reconstructed images of optical properties as functions of source modulation frequency, noise level in measurement, and diffusion extrapolation length. We observe that the differences between diffusion and transport reconstructions are large when high modulation frequencies and noise-free data are used in the reconstructions. When the noise in data reaches a certain level, approximately 12% in our simulations, the differences between diffusion- and transport-based reconstructions become almost indistinguishable. Given that state-of-the-art optical imaging systems operate at much lower noise levels, the benefits of transport-based reconstructions of small imaging domains can be realized with most of the currently available systems. However, transport-based reconstructions are considerably slower than diffusion-based reconstructions.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(170.0170) Medical optics and biotechnology : Medical optics and biotechnology
(170.3010) Medical optics and biotechnology : Image reconstruction techniques
(170.3660) Medical optics and biotechnology : Light propagation in tissues
(170.3880) Medical optics and biotechnology : Medical and biological imaging
(170.6960) Medical optics and biotechnology : Tomography
(170.7050) Medical optics and biotechnology : Turbid media

ToC Category:
Medical Optics and Biotechnology

Original Manuscript: May 8, 2007
Manuscript Accepted: July 3, 2007
Published: September 11, 2007

Virtual Issues
Vol. 2, Iss. 10 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Kui Ren, Guillaume Bal, and Andreas H. Hielscher, "Transport- and diffusion-based optical tomography in small domains: a comparative study," Appl. Opt. 46, 6669-6679 (2007)

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