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Appl Opt. 1998 Aug 1;37(22):5327-36.

Two-dimensional near-infrared transillumination imaging of biomedical media with a chromium-doped forsterite laser.


Transillumination images of objects hidden in normal and cancerous human breast tissues and bovine, porcine, and gallinaceous (chicken) tissues as well as model-random-scattering media were recorded with 1250-nm light from a chromium-doped forsterite laser. A Fourier space gate and a polarization gate were used to sort out image-bearing photons and discriminate against multiply scattered image-blurring photons. Better contrast, higher spatial resolution, and deeper penetration of samples were achieved for imaging with 1250-nm light than those obtained at shorter wavelengths, such as 1064 nm from a neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (YAG) laser. Better contrast and higher resolution were also obtained when the object was imaged through normal human breast tissue than through cancerous breast tissue. Images with marked distinction between fatty and fibrous human breast tissues were obtained when the Cr:forsterite laser was tuned to 1225 nm, a wavelength that resonates with an optical absorption band of breast fat tissues. Imaging with linearly polarized light revealed that the image quality depends significantly on the orientation of the polarization of the incident light with respect to the fibers in the bovine tissue.


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