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Photochem Photobiol Sci. 2003 Feb;2(2):124-9.

In vivo absorption and scattering spectroscopy of biological tissues.

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  • 1INFM-Dipartimento di Fisica and IFN-CNR, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, I-20133 Milan, Italy.


Different approaches for absorption and scattering spectroscopy of living tissues are discussed. In particular, a unique system for time-resolved reflectance and transmittance spectroscopy is presented, capable of acquiring in vivo absorption and scattering spectra of diffusive media between 600 and 1000 nm. A review of typical spectra obtained from a variety of tissue structures is shown, including female breast, forearm, abdomen, and forehead. A second-level analysis of the measured spectra permits an estimation of the concentrations of the key tissue absorbers, as well as of the Mie-equivalent scattering radii. Further, absorption and scattering spectra can be used to estimate the penetration depth of light in tissues as a function of wavelength, which is a crucial parameter in view of the possible application of optical in vivo molecular imaging in clinical diagnosis. Finally, an example of the applicability of the methodology to other biological media such as fruits and vegetables is shown.

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