Publication Type:Journal Article
Source:Biomedical optics express, Volume 3, Issue 6, p.1340-9 (2012)
Laser Speckle Imaging (LSI) is fast, noninvasive technique to image particle dynamics in scattering media such as biological tissue. While LSI measurements are independent of the overall intensity of the laser source, we find that spatial variations in the laser source profile can impact measured flow rates. This occurs due to differences in average photon path length across the profile, and is of significant concern because all lasers have some degree of natural Gaussian profile in addition to artifacts potentially caused by projecting optics. Two in vivo measurement are performed to show that flow rates differ based on location with respect to the beam profile. A quantitative analysis is then done through a speckle contrast forward model generated within a coherent Spatial Frequency Domain Imaging (cSFDI) formalism. The model predicts remitted speckle contrast as a function of spatial frequency, optical properties, and scattering dynamics. Comparison with experimental speckle contrast images were done using liquid phantoms with known optical properties for three common beam shapes. cSFDI is found to accurately predict speckle contrast for all beam shapes to within 5% root mean square error. Suggestions for improving beam homogeneity are given, including a widening of the natural beam Gaussian, proper diffusing glass spreading, and flat top shaping using microlens arrays.