A multispectral direct chromophore and scattering reconstruction technique has been implemented for near-infrared frequency-domain tomography in recovering images of total hemoglobin, oxygen saturation, water, and scatter parameters. The method applies the spectral constraint of the chromophores and scattering spectra directly in the reconstruction algorithm, thereby reducing the parameter space of the inversion process. This new method was validated by use of simulated and experimental data, and results show better robustness and stability in the presence of higher levels of noise. The method suppresses artifacts, especially those significant in water and scatter power images, and reduces cross talk between chromophore and scatter parameters. Variation in scattering was followed by this spectral approach successfully in experimental data from 90-mm-diameter cylindrical phantoms, and results show linear variation in scatter amplitude and reduced scattering coefficient (μs′), with total hemoglobin, oxygen saturation, and water remaining constant and quantitatively accurate. Similar experiments were carried out for varying oxygen saturation and total hemoglobin. Accurate quantification was obtained with a mean error of 7.7% for oxygen saturation and 6.2% for total hemoglobin, with minimal cross talk between different parameters.
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