Abstract

To validate models of light propagation in biological tissue, experiments to measure the mean time of flight have been carried out on several solid cylindrical layered phantoms. The optical properties of the inner cylinders of the phantoms were close to those of adult brain white matter, whereas a range of scattering or absorption coefficients was chosen for the outer layer. Experimental results for the mean optical path length have been compared with the predictions of both an exact Monte Carlo (MC) model and a diffusion equation, with two differing boundary conditions implemented in a finite-element method (FEM). The MC and experimental results are in good agreement despite poor statistics for large fiber spacings, whereas good agreement with the FEM prediction requires a careful choice of proper boundary conditions.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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