Multiple scattering model for the penetration depth of low-coherence enhanced backscattering

Vladimir Turzhitsky*, Nikhil N. Mutyal, Andrew J. Radosevich, Vadim Backman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Low-coherence enhanced backscattering (LEBS) is a depth-selective self-interference phenomenon that originates from light traveling time-reversed paths in a scattering medium. The depth selectivity of LEBS and its sensitivity to optical properties of the scattering medium has made it a promising technique for probing the structure of biological tissue with applications to disease diagnosis and, in particular, precancerous conditions. The ability to accurately predict the penetration depth of the LEBS signal is important in targeting an optimal tissue depth for detecting precancerous cells. This prediction is further complicated by the variation in optical properties of different tissue types. In this paper, the effects of the reduced scattering coefficient (μ s'), the phase function and the instrument spatial coherence length (L sc) on the LEBS penetration depth are quantified. It is determined that the LEBS penetration depth is primarily dependent on L sc, μ s', and the anisotropy factor (g), but has minimal dependence on higher moments of the phase function. An empirical expression, having a similar form as the double scattering approximation for LEBS, is found to accurately predict the average penetration depth in the multiple scattering regime. The expression is shown to be accurate for a broad range of experimentally relevant optical properties and spatial coherence lengths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number097006
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • backscattering
  • coherence
  • optical properties
  • spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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