Journal of Biomedical Optics • Open AccessInstrument independent diffuse reflectance spectroscopy
Diffuse reflectance spectroscopy with a fiber optic probe is a powerful tool for quantitative tissue characterization and disease diagnosis. Significant systematic errors can arise in the measured reflectance spectra and thus in the derived tissue physiological and morphological parameters due to real-time instrument fluctuations. We demonstrate a novel fiber optic probe with real-time, self-calibration capability that can be used for UV-visible diffuse reflectance spectroscopy in biological tissue in clinical settings. The probe is tested in a number of synthetic liquid phantoms over a wide range of tissue optical properties for significant variations in source intensity fluctuations caused by instrument warm up and day-to-day drift. While the accuracy for extraction of absorber concentrations is comparable to that achieved with the traditional calibration (with a reflectance standard), the accuracy for extraction of reduced scattering coefficients is significantly improved with the self-calibration probe compared to traditional calibration. This technology could be used to achieve instrument-independent diffuse reflectance spectroscopy in vivo and obviate the need for instrument warm up and post/premeasurement calibration, thus saving up to an hour of precious clinical time.