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J Biomed Opt. 2013 Oct;18(10):105004. doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.18.10.105004.

General equation for the differential pathlength factor of the frontal human head depending on wavelength and age.


Continuous-wave near-infrared spectroscopy and near-infrared imaging enable the measurement of relative concentration changes in oxy- and deoxyhemoglobin and thus hemodynamics and oxygenation. The accuracy of determined changes depends mainly on the modeling of the light transport through the probed tissue. Due to the highly scattering nature of tissue, the light path is longer than the source-detector separation (d). This is incorporated in modeling by multiplying d by a differential pathlength factor (DPF) which depends on several factors such as wavelength, age of the subject, and type of tissue. In the present work, we derive a general DPF equation for the frontal human head, incorporating dependency on wavelength and age, based on published data. We validated the equation using different data sets of experimentally determined DPFs from six independent studies.

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