We present an explicit model for the diffuse reflectance due to a collimated beam of light incident normally on layered tissues. This model is derived using the corrected diffusion approximation applied to a layered medium, and it takes the form of a convolution with an explicit kernel and the incident beam profile. This model corrects the standard diffusion approximation over all source–detector separation distances provided the beam is sufficiently wide compared to the scattering mean free path. We validate this model through comparison with Monte Carlo simulations. Then we use this model to estimate the optical properties of an epithelial layer from Monte Carlo simulation data. Using measurements at small source–detector separations and this model, we are able to estimate the absorption coefficient, scattering coefficient, and anisotropy factor of epithelial tissues efficiently with reasonable accuracy.
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