Abstract

We report on a quantitative comparison between the single-source and the dual-interfering-source configurations for the detection of fluorescent heterogeneities embedded in a piecewise highly scattering homogeneous fluorescent background. The study is based on simulations with analytical solutions of the frequency-domain fluorescent diffuse photon density waves and practical signal-to-noise ratio considerations. Results show that dual-interfering sources outperform single-source techniques for the detection of heterogeneities in terms of fluorophore concentration and lifetime contrast. To detect the same inhomogeneity, less concentration and lifetime contrast is required with dual-interfering sources.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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