Abstract

When imaging through turbid media, objects are often blurred by scattered light. An optical collimator (i.e., an angular filter array) improves images by accepting only photons propagating within a narrow solid angle about the direction of the incident light. These photons are expected to participate in a limited number of small-angle scattering events, maintaining their original propagation direction and, finally, contributing to the development of a faithful image of an object within a turbid medium. The collimation method, also referred to as angular domain imaging (ADI), applies to a see-through configuration where the incident collimated light beam can be aligned with the collimator in a transillumination mode of operation. In this paper, we present angular domain optical projection tomography (ADOPT), a method that can extract depth information of optical contrast in turbid media with high longitudinal resolution based on ADI technology. The resolution of the ADI system has been tested over various depths in a 5 cm optical cuvette using a resolution target suspended in a homogeneous turbid medium. The ADOPT system reconstructed images from a series of angular domain projections collected at angular intervals. The system was used to measure the attenuation of an absorbing target in transmission mode (t-ADOPT) and to measure the light emitting from a fluorescent target (f-ADOPT). Tissue-mimicking phantoms were used to validate the performance of the method. In the t-ADOPT configuration, a background scattered light estimation and subtraction methodology was introduced to improve the imaging contrast. A target consisting of two graphite rods (0.9 mm diameter) was suspended in the cuvette by a rotation stage. An Indocyanine Green-filled glass rod was used as an imaging target in the f-ADOPT arrangement. The target was placed in a manner such that the line of laser light was perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the rods. Several projections were collected at increments of 1.8° and compiled into a sinogram. A transverse image was reconstructed from the sinogram by using filtered backprojection and image contrast was improved by experimental scatter measurements using a wedge prism and an image processing algorithm. The submillimeter target embedded in a 2 cm thick scattering medium (reduced scattering coefficient ≤2.4 cm−1) was discernable in both the sinograms and the reconstructed images. In the f-ADOPT system, fluorescent line targets <1 cm in diameter embedded in a 2 cm thick scattering medium (reduced scattering coefficient ≤0.8 cm−1) were discernable in both the sinograms and the reconstructed images. The proposed method could be used as the basis to construct an optical tomographic scanner for simultaneous absorption and fluorescence-based imaging of biological specimens (i.e., up to 7 mm across).

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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