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Phys Med Biol. 2005 Jan 7;50(1):57-70.

A library based fitting method for visual reflectance spectroscopy of human skin.

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  • 1Beckman Laser Institute, University of California, Irvine, CA 92612, USA.


The diffuse reflectance spectrum of human skin in the visible region (400-800 nm) contains information on the concentrations of chromophores such as melanin and haemoglobin. This information may be extracted by fitting the reflectance spectrum with an optical diffusion based analytical expression applied to a layered skin model. With the use of the analytical expression, it is assumed that light transport is dominated by scattering. For port wine stain (PWS) and highly pigmented human skin, however, this assumption may not be valid resulting in a potentially large error in visual reflectance spectroscopy (VRS). Monte Carlo based techniques can overcome this problem but are currently too computationally intensive to be combined with previously used fitting procedures. The fitting procedure presented herein is based on a library search which enables the use of accurate reflectance spectra based on forward Monte Carlo simulations or diffusion theory. This allows for accurate VRS to characterize chromophore concentrations in PWS and highly pigmented human skin. The method is demonstrated using both simulated and measured reflectance spectra. An additional advantage of the method is that the fitting procedure is very fast.

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