We present a detailed analytical model to describe optical coherence tomography (OCT) systems, which considers the propagation of the optical field within a scattering medium in the framework of the extended Huygens–Fresnel principle. The model includes use of the discrete-particle model and the fractal approach in treating biological tissue as being packed with scattering particles with a power-law distribution. In contrast to previous models, an imaginary lens proximal to the tissue surface is introduced that approximates the real focusing lens in the sample arm of the OCT system. This treatment avoids the consideration of backscattering light as traveling in the free space between the focusing lens and the tissue surface before mixing with the reference beam. Experiments on tissue phantoms were carried out to verify the validity of this model.
© 2003 Optical Society of America
(160.4760) Materials : Optical properties
(170.3660) Medical optics and biotechnology : Light propagation in tissues
(170.4500) Medical optics and biotechnology : Optical coherence tomography
(170.6930) Medical optics and biotechnology : Tissue
(170.7050) Medical optics and biotechnology : Turbid media
Yinqi Feng, Ruikang K. Wang, and James B. Elder, "Theoretical model of optical coherence tomography for system optimization and characterization," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 20, 1792-1803 (2003)