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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Vol. 7, Iss. 11 — Nov. 1, 1990
  • pp: 2141–2153

Multilayer model of photon diffusion in skin

J. M. Schmitt, G. X. Zhou, E. C. Walker, and R. T. Wall  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 7, Issue 11, pp. 2141-2153 (1990)

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A diffusion model describing the propagation of photon flux in the epidermal, dermal, and subcutaneous tissue layers of the skin is presented. Assuming that the skin is illuminated by a collimated, finite-aperture source, we develop expressions relating photon flux density within the skin and intensities re-emitted from the skin surface to the optical properties of the individual layers. Model simulations show that the rate at which re-emitted intensities diminish with radial distance away from the source can provide information about absorption and scattering in underlying tissues. Re-emitted intensities measured from homogeneous and two-layer tissue phantoms compare favorably with model predictions. We demonstrate potential applications of the model by estimating the absorption (Σa) and transport-corrected scattering ( Σ s ) coefficients of dermis and subcutis from intensities measured from intact skin and by predicting the magnitude of the optical-density variations measured by a photoplethysmograph.

© 1990 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: November 13, 1989
Manuscript Accepted: April 5, 1990
Published: November 1, 1990

J. M. Schmitt, R. T. Wall, G. X. Zhou, and E. C. Walker, "Multilayer model of photon diffusion in skin," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 7, 2141-2153 (1990)

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