Optical properties of tissue measured using terahertz-pulsed imaging

BERRY, E., FITZGERALD, A. J., ZINOVIEV, N. N., WALKER, G. C., HOMER-VANNIASINKAM, S., SUDWORTH, C. D., MILES, R. E., CHAMBERLAIN, M. and SMITH, M. A. (2003). Optical properties of tissue measured using terahertz-pulsed imaging. Proceedings of SPIE: Medical Imaging 2003: Physics of Medical Imaging, 5030, 459-470.

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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1117/12.479993


The first demonstrations of terahertz imaging in biomedicine were made several years ago, but few data are available on the optical properties of human tissue at terahertz frequencies. A catalogue of these properties has been established to estimate variability and determine the practicality of proposed medical applications in terms of penetration depth, image contrast and reflection at boundaries. A pulsed terahertz imaging system with a useful bandwidth 0.5-2.5 THz was used. Local ethical committee approval was obtained. Transmission measurements were made through tissue slices of thickness 0.08 to 1 mm, including tooth enamel and dentine, cortical bone, skin, adipose tissue and striated muscle. The mean and standard deviation for refractive index and linear attenuation coefficient, both broadband and as a function of frequency, were calculated. The measurements were used in simple models of the transmission, reflection and propagation of terahertz radiation in potential medical applications. Refractive indices ranged from 1.5 ± 0.5 for adipose tissue to 3.06 ± 0.09 for tooth enamel. Significant differences (P < 0.05) were found between the broadband refractive indices of a number of tissues. Terahertz radiation is strongly absorbed in tissue so reflection imaging, which has lower penetration requirements than transmission, shows promise for dental or dermatological applications.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Health and Social Care Research
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1117/12.479993
Page Range: 459-470
Depositing User: Ann Betterton
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2011 15:54
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 09:30
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/3405

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