Ultrasound-modulated optical tomography of thick biological tissues was studied based on speckle-contrast detection. Speckle decorrelation was investigated with biological tissue samples of various thicknesses. Images of optically absorbing objects buried in biological tissue samples with thicknesses up to 50 mm were obtained in a transmission-detection configuration. The image contrast was more than 30%, and the spatial resolution was approximately 2 mm. In addition, a side-detection scheme along with two specific configurations were examined, and the advantages were demonstrated. Experimental results implied feasibility of applying the ultrasound-modulation technique to characterize optical properties in inhomogeneous biological tissues.
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