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Phys Rev Lett. 2006 Jul 7;97(1):018104. Epub 2006 Jul 7.

Light guiding in biological tissue due to scattering.

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  • 1Institut für Lasertechnologien in der Medizin und Messtechnik, Helmholtzstrasse 12, D-89081 Ulm, Germany.


For a description of light propagation in biological tissue it is usually assumed that tissue is a random medium. We report a pronounced light guiding effect in cubes of human dentin that cannot be described by this standard model. Monte Carlo simulations which consider the microstructure of dentin are performed and successfully compared to experiments. Contrary to explanations so far, we show that light guiding is due to scattering by the tissue's microstructure. Exploiting this concept, light can be guided in arbitrary directions or locations without involving reflections or wave effects.

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