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Anal Biochem. 1993 Sep;213(2):378-85.

Characterization of absorption and scattering properties of small-volume biological samples using time-resolved spectroscopy.

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  • 1Johnson Research Foundation, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104-6089.


With time-resolved spectroscopy, we develop an experimental approach by sample substitution to measure the absorption (mu a) and reduced scattering (mu's) coefficients of small-volume biological samples. To investigate the method, small-volume control samples are substituted into a large-size host medium during increases in the absorber (or scatterer) concentration of the host. By characterizing the deviation of the spectra taken with and without the sample, we determine the matching points where the sample and surrounding medium are optically identical. We show that this method can result in correct values of the mu a and mu's for the sample within 6% error if the matching conditions for both the mu a and mu's are fully realized. The results also indicate that this method can give approximate values of the mu a and mu's in a reasonable range if either the mu a or the mu's matching between the two media is realized. This method has been applied to the studies of absorption properties of a human finger and of scattering properties of yeast.

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