We present a study focused on quantitative fluorescence in tissues at near-infrared wavelengths. We demonstrate the quantitative description of fluorescence in tissue-like media provided by a model derived from difhsion theory. Based on this model we conclude that the spatial distribution of the fluorescent light does not depend on the lifetime of the probe. We also show that lifetime and quantum yield or probe concentration can be determined in a hghly scattering medium using frequency-domain techniques, without the use of a reference probe.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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