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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Vol. 20, Iss. 1 — Jan. 1, 2003
  • pp: 92–98

Light propagation in biological tissue

Arnold D. Kim and Joseph B. Keller  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 20, Issue 1, pp. 92-98 (2003)

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Biological tissue scatters light mainly in the forward direction where the scattering phase function has a narrow peak. This peak makes it difficult to solve the radiative transport equation. However, it is just for forward-peaked scattering that the Fokker–Planck equation provides a good approximation, and it is easier to solve than the transport equation. Furthermore, the modification of the Fokker–Planck equation by Leakeas and Larsen provides an even better approximation and is also easier to solve. We demonstrate the accuracy of these two approximations by solving the problem of reflection and transmission of a plane wave normally incident on a slab composed of a uniform scattering medium.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(030.5620) Coherence and statistical optics : Radiative transfer
(290.4210) Scattering : Multiple scattering

Original Manuscript: April 3, 2002
Revised Manuscript: July 29, 2002
Manuscript Accepted: August 1, 2002
Published: January 1, 2003

Arnold D. Kim and Joseph B. Keller, "Light propagation in biological tissue," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 20, 92-98 (2003)

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  1. W-F. Cheong, S. A. Prahl, A. J. Welch, “A review of the optical properties of biological tissues,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 26, 2166–2185 (1990). [CrossRef]
  2. C. L. Leakeas, E. W. Larsen, “Generalized Fokker–Planck approximations of particle transport with highly forward-peaked scattering,” Nucl. Sci. Eng. 137, 236–250 (2001).
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  5. A. D. Kim, J. B. Keller, M. Moscoso, Department of Mathematics, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif. 94305-2125 are preparing a manuscript to be called “Point-spread functions in scattering media.”
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  12. A. D. Kim, A. Ishimaru, “Optical diffusion of continuous-wave, pulsed, and density waves in scattering media and comparisons with radiative transfer,” Appl. Opt. 37, 5313–5319 (1998). [CrossRef]

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