Abstract

In the field of diffuse optical tomography (DOT), it is widely accepted that time-resolved (TR) measurement can provide the richest information on photon migration in a turbid medium, such as biological tissue. However, the currently available image reconstruction algorithms for TR DOT are based mostly on the cw component or some featured data types of original temporal profiles, which are related to the solution of a time-independent diffusion equation. Although this methodology can greatly simplify the reconstruction process, it suffers from low spatial resolution and poor quantitativeness owing to the limitation of effectively applicable data types. To improve image quality, it has been argued that exploiting the full TR data is essential. We propose implementation of a DOT algorithm by using full TR data and furthermore a variant algorithm with time slices of TR data to alleviate the computational complexity and enhance noise robustness. Compared with those algorithms where the featured data types are used, our evaluations on the spatial resolution and quantitativeness show that a significant improvement in imaging quality can be achieved when full TR data are used, which convinces the DOT community of the potential advantage of the TR domain over cw and frequency domains.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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