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The role of late photons in diffuse optical imaging

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Document pages: 17 pages

Abstract: The ability to image through turbid media such as organic tissues, is ahighly attractive prospect for biological and medical imaging. This ischallenging however, due to the highly scattering properties of tissues whichscramble the image information. The earliest photons that arrive at thedetector are often associated with ballistic transmission, whilst the laterphotons are associated with complex paths due to multiple independentscattering events and are therefore typically considered to be detrimental tothe final image formation process. In this work we report on the importance ofthese highly diffuse, "late " photons for computational time-of-flight diffuseoptical imaging. In thick scattering materials, >80 transport mean free paths,we provide evidence that including late photons in the inverse retrievalenhances the image reconstruction quality. We also show that the late photonsalone have sufficient information to retrieve images of a similar quality toearly photon gated data. This result emphasises the importance in the stronglydiffusive regime discussed here, of fully time-resolved imaging techniques.

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