The applicability and limits of time-resolved transillumination to determine the internal details of biological tissues are investigated by phantom experiments. By means of line scans across a sharp edge, the spatial resolution (Δx) and its dependence on the time-gate width (Δt) can be determined. Additionally, measurements of completely absorbing bead pairs embedded in a turbid medium demonstrate the physical resolution in a more realistic case. The benefit of time resolution is especially high for a turbid medium with a comparatively small reduced scattering coefficient of approximately μs′ = 0.12 mm−1. Investigations with partially absorbing beads and filled plastic tubes demonstrate the high sensitivity of time-resolving techniques with respect to spatial variations in scattering or absorption coefficients that are due to the embedded disturber. In particular, it is shown that time gating is sensitive to variations in scattering coefficients.
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