Abstract

The accuracy of the perturbation model to predict the effect of scattering and absorbing inhomogeneities on photon migration has been investigated by comparisons with experimental and numerical results. Comparisons for scattering inhomogeneities showed that the model gives satisfactory results both for the intensity and for the temporal profile of the perturbation over a large range of values for the scattering properties of the defect. As for absorbing inhomogeneities, the model provides an excellent description for the temporal profile, but the results for the intensity are accurate only when the perturbation is small. For absorbing inhomogeneities an empirical model that has a significantly more extended application range has been proposed. The model is based on an expression for the time-resolved mean path length that detected photons have followed inside the inhomogeneity. The application range of the proposed model covers the values expected for the optical properties and for the volumes of inhomogeneities of practical interest for optical mammography.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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