Abstract

We present analytic solutions for fluorescent diffuse photon density waves originating from fluorophores distributed in thick turbid media. Solutions are derived for a homogeneous turbid medium containing a uniform distribution of fluorophores and for a system that is homogeneous except for the presence of a single spherical inhomogeneity. Generally the inhomogeneity has fluorophore concentration, and lifetime and optical properties that differ from those of the background. The analytic solutions are verified by numerical calculations and are used to determine the fluorophore lifetime and concentration changes required for the accurate detection of inhomogeneities in biologically relevant systems. The relative sensitivities of absorption and fluorescence methods are compared.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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