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Journal of Biomedical Optics


A diffuse imaging method is presented that enables wide-field estimation of the depth of fluorescent molecular markers in turbid media by quantifying the deformation of the detected fluorescence spectra due to the wavelength-dependent light attenuation by overlying tissue. This is achieved by measuring the ratio of the fluorescence at two wavelengths in combination with normalization techniques based on diffuse reflectance measurements to evaluate tissue attenuation variations for different depths. It is demonstrated that fluorescence topography can be achieved up to a 5 mm depth using a near-infrared dye with millimeter depth accuracy in turbid media having optical properties representative of normal brain tissue. Wide-field depth estimates are made using optical technology integrated onto a commercial surgical microscope, making this approach feasible for real-world applications.