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Phys Med Biol. 1997 May;42(5):855-67.

Coherent detection techniques in optical imaging of tissues.

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Biophotonics Information Laboratories, Yamagata, Japan.


To form optical images from the transmitted or reflected light that is multiply scattered inside biological tissue, several detection techniques that extract the least-scattered photons or path-resolved photons have been developed. This paper reviews the coherent detection techniques. Emphasis is put on coherent detection imaging methods based on optical heterodyning, whose attractive features include quantum-noise-limited sensitivity, wide dynamic range, and excellent directionality and selectivity. Coherent detection methods have been implemented to achieve laser computed tomography and micrometre-resolution cross-sectional images in both in vivo and in vitro biological systems. Imaging works by ourselves and others are described, and an experimental study on coherent photon migration through highly scattering media is described to aid the understanding of the coherent detection method in selectively detecting the signal-carrying photons.

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