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Diffuse optics and the study of light absorption and scattering in various tissues can track blood oxygenation and other factors that help assemble an accurate medical diagnosis. Light scatters multiple times when traveling through a thick tissue sample, hence the “diffuse” property of this technique. Diffuse optical imaging has been shown to be a reliable measure for evaluating the health and outcomes of patients undergoing cardiac surgery, metabolic treatment, and tests for cancer (Figure 1). Breast cancer, in particular, has been both a tangible and virtual target for these techniques.
Figure 1. Cancer cells among red blood cells. Courtesy of iStock.com/CreVis2.
Diffuse optical spectroscopy (DOS) characterizes…