Abstract

We report on the application of pulsed photothermal radiometry (PPTR) to determine the depth of in-vitro and in-vivo subsurface chromophores in biological materials. Measurements provided by PPTR in combination with a nonnegative constrained conjugate-gradient algorithm are used to determine the initial temperature distribution in a biological material immediately following pulsed laser irradiation. Within the experimental error, chromophore depths (50–450 μm) in 55 in-vitro collagen phantoms determined by PPTR and optical low-coherence reflectometry are equivalent. The depths of port-wine-stain blood vessels determined by PPTR correlate very well with their locations found by computer-assisted microscopic observation of histologic sections. The mean blood-vessel depth deduced from PPTR and histologic observation is statistically indistinguishable (p > 0.94).

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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