Journal of Biomedical OpticsElimination of single-beam substitution error in diffuse reflectance measurements using an integrating sphere
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Diffuse reflectance spectra (DRS) of biological samples are commonly measured using an integrating sphere (IS). To account for the incident light spectrum, measurement begins by placing a highly reflective white standard against the IS sample opening and collecting the reflected light. After replacing the white standard with the test sample of interest, DRS of the latter is determined as the ratio of the two values at each involved wavelength. However, such a substitution may alter the fluence rate inside the IS. This leads to distortion of measured DRS, which is known as single-beam substitution error (SBSE). Barring the use of more complex experimental setups, the literature states that only approximate corrections of the SBSE are possible, e.g., by using look-up tables generated with calibrated low-reflectivity standards. We present a practical method for elimination of SBSE when using IS equipped with an additional reference port. Two additional measurements performed at this port enable a rigorous elimination of SBSE. Our experimental characterization of SBSE is replicated by theoretical derivation. This offers an alternative possibility of computational removal of SBSE based on advance characterization of a specific DRS setup. The influence of SBSE on quantitative analysis of DRS is illustrated in one application example.