A method for estimating optical properties of tissue from time-domain measurements is presented. Data analysis is based on calculation of first moment and variance of the distribution of times of flight (DTOF) of photons injected by short (ps) laser pulses. Calculations based on diffusion theory are performed for infinite and semi-infinite media to relate optical properties to statistical moments. The proposed technique was tested analyzing experiments performed in an infinite medium. Results of the moment analysis were compared with those obtained by fitting the same experimental data with the analytical solution of the diffusion equation. Limitations of the method are discussed and tested on simulated data.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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