Measurement of tissue optical properties by the use of oblique-incidence optical fiber reflectometry

Shao Pow Lin, Lihong Wang, Steven L. Jacques, Frank K. Tittel, Bruce J. Tromberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

165 Scopus citations


Fiber-optic-based oblique-incidence reflectometry is a simple and accurate method for measuring the absorption and reduced scattering coefficients μa and μs’ of semi-infinite turbid media. Obliquely incident light produces a spatial distribution of diffuse reflectance that is not centered about the point of light entry. The amount of shift in the center of diffuse reflectance is directly related to the medium’s diffusion length D. We developed a fiber-optic probe to deliver light obliquely and sample the relative profile of diffuse reflectance. Measurement in absolute units is not necessary. From the profile, it was possible to measure D, perform a curve fit for the effective attenuation coefficient μeff, and then calculate μa and μs’. This method was verified with Monte Carlo simulations and tested on tissue phantoms. Our measurements of D and μeff had an accuracy of approximately 5%, thus giving us 10% and 5% accuracy for μa and μs’, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-143
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Optics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomedical optics
  • Fiber optics
  • Oblique incidence
  • Optical properties
  • Reflectometry
  • Scattering media
  • Tissue optics
  • Turbid media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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