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J Biol Phys. 2003 June; 29(2-3): 123–128.
PMCID: PMC3456431

Catalogue of Human Tissue Optical Properties at Terahertz Frequencies


Recently published studies suggest thatterahertz pulsed imaging will have applications inmedicine and biology, but there iscurrently very little information about the opticalproperties of human tissue at terahertzfrequencies. Such information would be useful forpredicting the feasibility of proposedapplications, optimising acquisition protocols,providing information about variability ofhealthy tissue and supplying data for studies of theinteraction mechanisms. Research ethicscommittee approval was obtained, andmeasurements made from samples of freshlyexcised human tissue, using a broadbandterahertz pulsed imaging system comprisingfrequencies approximately 0.5 to 2.5 THz.Refractive index and linear absorptioncoefficient were found. Reproducibility wasdetermined using blood from one volunteer,which was drawn and measured on consecutivedays. Skin, adipose tissue, striatedmuscle, vein and nerve were measured (to date, from oneindividual). Water had a higher refractiveindex (2.04 ± 0.07) than any tissue.The linear absorption coefficient was higher formuscle than adipose tissue, as expectedfrom the higher hydration of muscle. As these samples camefrom a single subject, there is currentlyinsufficient statistical power to draw firmconclusions, but results suggest that in vivo clinical imaging will be feasible in certainapplications.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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