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Phys Med Biol. 2006 Sep 21;51(18):4719-33. Epub 2006 Sep 4.

Mean time-of-flight of photons in transillumination measurements of optically anisotropic tissue with an inclusion.

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Mathematical and Statistical Computing Laboratory, Division of Computational Bioscience, Center for Information Technology, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


We study the effect of optical anisotropy on the mean time-of-flight of photons in a slab of turbid medium containing an inclusion whose optical properties differ from those of the bulk. For this analysis the difference in the mean time for a photon introduced into the slab to reach a specified target point with and without the inclusion is calculated. This difference is defined to be a measure of the contrast. The theoretical model is based on a continuous-time random walk on a lattice, which can be solved exactly and furnishes an exact expression for the contrast. Qualitative and quantitative characteristics of the contrast are analysed as functions of the geometric configuration of the system components (locations of the source, the inclusion and the detector), parameters that specify the optical anisotropy of the medium, and either the scattering properties of the inclusion or the lifetime of the small fluorophore in the case of the time-resolved fluorescence experimental configuration.

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