Abstract

The index of refraction n of the many mammalian tissues is an important but somewhat neglected optical constant. Archival and oral papers have quoted the use of values of n for tissue generally ranging from 1.35 to 1.55. However, these values are frequently without experimental basis. They have arbitrarily used values near that of water, which is a major component of mammalian tissue, or have calculated a theoretical n from the weighted elemental composition of tissue. Since these values have not been precise and little information is available on specific indices for each tissue, a study was undertaken to develop a simple, rapid, and reliable method for the experimental determination of n. This was done using the ubiquitous quartz optical fiber. By substituting the usual cladding found on commercial quartz optics by the tissue in question and utilizing the principle of internal reflection, the value of n for the specific tissue can be calculated. This is done by utilizing the known indices for air and quartz and measuring the angle of the emergent cone of light from the output of the optical fiber. A number of indices for mammalian tissue (bovine, porcine, canine, and human) have been determined at 632.8 nm. With few exceptions, for tissues at this wavelength, n was in the 1.38–1.41 range. The species type did not appear to be a factor. Bovine muscle showed normal dispersion characteristics through the visible wavelengths. The denaturation of tissue was shown to alter significantly the refractive index.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

Full Article  |  PDF Article

References

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Citation lists with outbound citation links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Cited By

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Cited by links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Figures (7)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Figure files are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Tables (2)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Article tables are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Equations (3)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Equations are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Metrics

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Article level metrics are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription