Journal of Biomedical OpticsEnhancing the sensitivity to scattering coefficient of the epithelium in a two-layered tissue model by oblique optical fibers: Monte Carlo study
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Diffuse reflectance spectroscopy has been applied to detect tissue absorption and scattering properties associated with dysplasia, which is a potential precursor of epithelial cancers. The ability of DRS techniques to detect dysplasia could be improved by enhancing the detection of optical properties of the thin epithelial layer where dysplasia occurs. We propose a beveled fiber bundle probe consisting of a source fiber and multiple detection fibers parallel to each other and oriented obliquely to the tissue surface and investigate the sensitivity of reflectance measured with the probe to optical properties of a two-layered normal oral mucosa model. A scalable Monte Carlo method is employed to speed up analyzing spatially resolved reflectance spectra. Results reveal that the oblique probe is more sensitive to epithelial scattering and less sensitive to both stromal absorption and scattering than conventional perpendicular fiber configuration. The clinical relevance of the enhanced sensitivity to epithelial scattering by the proposed probe is demonstrated by quantifying optical properties of the two-layered tissue model from simulated data. The average error of extracted epithelial scattering coefficient is 1.5% and 32% using the oblique and perpendicular probe, respectively. The errors in other optical properties are all below 10% using the oblique probe.