Multiple forward scattering reduces the measured scattering coefficient of whole blood in visible-light optical coherence tomography

Raymond Fang, Ian Rubinoff*, Hao F. Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The optical properties of blood encode oxygen-dependent information. Noninvasive optical detection of these properties is increasingly desirable to extract biomarkers for tissue health. Recently, visible-light optical coherence tomography (vis-OCT) demonstrated retinal oxygen saturation (sO2) measurements by inversely measuring the oxygen-dependent absorption and scattering coefficients of whole blood. However, vis-OCT may be sensitive to optical scattering properties of whole blood, different from those reported in the literature. Incorrect assumptions of such properties can add additional uncertainties or biases to vis-OCT’s sO2 model. This work investigates whole blood’s scattering coefficient measured by vis-OCT. Using Monte Carlo simulation of a retinal vessel, we determined that vis-OCT almost exclusively detects multiple-scattered photons in whole blood. Meanwhile, photons mostly forward scatter in whole blood within the visible spectral range, allowing photons to maintain ballistic paths and penetrate deeply, leading to a reduction in the measured scattering coefficient. We defined a scattering scaling factor (SSF) to account for such a reduction and found that SSF varied with measurement conditions, such as numerical aperture, depth resolution, and depth selection. We further experimentally validated SSF in ex vivo blood phantoms with pre-set sO2 levels and in the human retina, both of which agreed well with our simulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4510-4527
Number of pages18
JournalBiomedical Optics Express
Volume13
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biotechnology

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