Effects of compression on soft tissue optical properties

Eric K. Chan, Brian Sorg, Dmitry Protsenko, Michael O'Neil, Massoud Motamedi, Ashley J. Welch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

186 Scopus citations


Tissue optical properties are necessary parameters for prescribing light dosimetry in photomedicine. In many diagnostic or therapeutic applications where optical fiber probes are used, pressure is often applied to the tissue to reduce index mismatch and increase light transmittance. In this paper, we have measured in vitro optical properties as a function of pressure with a visible-IR spectrophotometer. A spectral range of 400-1800 nm with a spectral resolution of 5 nm was used for all measurements. Skin specimens of a Hispanic donor and two Caucasian donors were obtained from the tissue bank. Bovine aorta and sciera, and porcine sciera came from a local slaughter house. Each specimen, sandwiched between microscope slides, was compressed by a spring-loaded apparatus. Then diffuse reflectance and transmittance of each sample were measured at no load and at approximately 0.1, 1, and 2 kgf/cm2. Under compression, tissue thicknesses were reduced up to 78%. Generally speaking, the reflectance decreased while the overall transmittance increased under compression. The absorption and reduced scattering coefficients were calculated using the inverse adding doubling method. Compared with the no-load controls, there was an increase in absorption and scattering coefficients among most of the compressed specimens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)943-950
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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