In vivo characterization of light scattering properties of human skin in the 475- to 850-nm wavelength range in a Swedish cohort

J Biomed Opt. 2018 Sep;23(12):1-6. doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.23.12.121608.


We have determined in vivo optical scattering properties of normal human skin in 1734 subjects, mostly with fair skin type, within the Swedish CArdioPulmonary bioImage Study. The measurements were performed with a noninvasive system, integrating spatially resolved diffuse reflectance spectroscopy and laser Doppler flowmetry. Data were analyzed with an inverse Monte Carlo algorithm, accounting for both scattering, geometrical, and absorbing properties of the tissue. The reduced scattering coefficient was found to decrease from 3.16 ± 0.72 to 1.13 ± 0.27 mm-1 (mean ± SD) in the 475- to 850-nm wavelength range. There was a negative correlation between the reduced scattering coefficient and age, and a significant difference between men and women in the reduced scattering coefficient as well as in the fraction of small scattering particles. This large study on tissue scattering with mean values and normal variation can serve as a reference when designing diagnostic techniques or when evaluating the effect of therapeutic optical systems.

Keywords: optical properties; scattering; skin; spectroscopy; tissue.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diagnostic Imaging / instrumentation
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laser-Doppler Flowmetry
  • Light
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monte Carlo Method
  • Optical Devices
  • Optics and Photonics
  • Reference Values
  • Scattering, Radiation
  • Skin / diagnostic imaging*
  • Skin / pathology
  • Sweden