Characterization of light transport in scattering media at subdiffusion length scales with low-coherence enhanced backscattering

Vladimir Turzhitsky*, Jeremy D. Rogers, Nikhil N. Mutyal, Hemant K. Roy, Vadim Backman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Low-coherence enhanced backscattering (LEBS) is a technique that has recently shown promise for tissue characterization and the detection of early precancer. Although several Monte Carlo models of LEBS have been described, these models have not been accurate enough to predict all of the experimentally observed LEBS features. We present an appropriate Monte Carlo model to simulate LEBS peak properties from polystyrene microsphere suspensions in water. Results show that the choice of the phase function greatly impacts the accuracy of the simulation when the transport mean free path (ls*) is much greater than the spatial coherence length (LSC). When ls* < L SC, a diffusion-approximation-based model of LEBS is sufficiently accurate. We also use the Monte Carlo model to validate that LEBS can be used to measure the radial scattering probability distribution (radial point spread function), p(r), at small length scales and demonstrate LEBS measurements of p(r ) from biological tissue. In particular, we show that precancerous and benign mucosal tissues have different small length scale light transport properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5299094
Pages (from-to)619-626
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2010


  • Cancer detection
  • Enhanced backscattering
  • Light Monte Carlo
  • Spatial coherence
  • Tissue characterization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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