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Accuracy of retrieving optical properties from liquid tissue phantoms using a single integrating sphere

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Abstract

Using integrating spheres (ISs) in conjunction with the inverse adding–doubling algorithm (IAD) offers a well-established, rigorous protocol for determining optical absorption (${{\mu}_a}$) and reduced scattering ($\mu _s^\prime$) coefficients of thin, optically homogeneous, turbid media. Here, we report the performance and use of a single IS system for experimentally retrieving optical properties in phantom media whose optical properties were well controlled. The IS system was used to measure the total reflectance and transmittance between 500 and 800 nm in liquid phantoms that were prepared to span a wide range of optical scattering and absorption coefficients. Measurements on phantoms were sequentially made using one of two broadband light sources—a halogen lamp or a supercontinuum laser. We report on the accuracy of IAD-derived optical coefficients using IS measurements made on phantoms—directly or by employing one of two previously reported correction methods. The first (sample-substitution error) correction was experimentally achieved while the second used Monte Carlo-based corrections with IAD. When experimentally calibrated reflectance and transmittance values were directly used as inputs to the IAD, mean absolute errors in recovered optical coefficients were larger than ${0.4}\;{{\rm cm}^{- 1}}$ for absorption and more than ${6}\;{{\rm cm}^{- 1}}$ for scattering across all phantoms and wavelengths measured. These errors reduced to ${{0.06{ -} 0.17}}\;{{\rm cm}^{- 1}}$ and ${{0.7 {-} 2}}\;{{\rm cm}^{- 1}}$ for ${{\mu}_a}$ and $\mu _s^\prime$, respectively, with the use of corrections. Choice of light sources used, sample geometry (relative to optical coefficients), signal-to-noise of measurements, and the selection of correction methods are discussed.

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Supplementary Material (1)

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