Abstract

Photobleaching and recovery of 488-nm excited fluorescence from resected human breast tissue samples have been studied. Profiles of photobleaching decay were seen to be faster in cancerous tissue than in those of the normal tissue. The reverse behavior was observed in profiles of recovery after photobleaching. A theoretical model based on one-dimensional diffusion theory has been developed to provide insight into the phenomena of fluorescence during photobleaching and recovery in a multiply scattering medium such as tissue. To understand photobleaching and recovery with the help of this theoretical model, we carried out experiments with model media that were prepared with authentic fluorophores, scatterers, and absorbers. The results of these studies suggest that the fluorescence photobleaching profiles are affected more by the absorption than by the scattering properties of a turbid medium such as tissue. In contrast, the scattering properties of the medium are found to affect the fluorescence recovery profiles to a greater extent. These observations could be related to the observed difference in fluorescence photobleaching and recovery profiles of normal and cancerous breast tissues.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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