Abstract

The behavior of two-photon fluorescence imaging through a scattering medium is analyzed by use of the Monte Carlo technique. The axial and transverse distributions of the excitation photons in the focused Gaussian beam are derived for both isotropic and anisotropic scatterers at different numerical apertures and at various ratios of the scattering depth with the mean free path. The two-photon fluorescence profiles of the sample are determined from the square of the normalized excitation intensity distributions. For the same lens aperture and scattering medium, two-photon fluorescence imaging offers a sharper and less aberrated axial response than that of single-photon confocal fluorescence imaging. The contrast in the corresponding transverse fluorescence profile is also significantly higher. Also presented are results comparing the effects of isotropic and anisotropic scattering media in confocal reflection imaging. The convergence properties of the Monte Carlo simulation are also discussed.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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