Transmission in near-infrared optical windows for deep brain imaging

Lingyan Shi*, Laura A. Sordillo, Adrián Rodríguez-Contreras, Robert Alfano

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

269 Scopus citations


Near-infrared (NIR) radiation has been employed using one- and two-photon excitation of fluorescence imaging at wavelengths 650-950 nm (optical window I) for deep brain imaging; however, longer wavelengths in NIR have been overlooked due to a lack of suitable NIR-low band gap semiconductor imaging detectors and/or femtosecond laser sources. This research introduces three new optical windows in NIR and demonstrates their potential for deep brain tissue imaging. The transmittances are measured in rat brain tissue in the second (II, 1,100-1,350 nm), third (III, 1,600-1,870 nm), and fourth (IV, centered at 2,200 nm) NIR optical tissue windows. The relationship between transmission and tissue thickness is measured and compared with the theory. Due to a reduction in scattering and minimal absorption, window III is shown to be the best for deep brain imaging, and windows II and IV show similar but better potential for deep imaging than window I.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-43
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biophotonics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Deep brain imaging
  • Golden optical tissue window
  • Near-infrared
  • Total attenuation length
  • Transmittance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Engineering
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Materials Science
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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