Near-infrared light penetration profile in the rodent brain

Ammar Abdo, Ali Ersen, Mesut Sahin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Near-infrared (NIR) lasers find applications in neuro-medicine both for diagnostic and treatment purposes. Penetration depth and profile into neural tissue are critical parameters to be considered in these applications. Published data on the optical properties of rodent neural tissue are rare, despite the frequent use of rats as an animal model. The aim of this study was to measure the light intensity profile inside the rat brain using a direct method, while the medium is being illuminated by an NIR laser beam, and compare the results with in vitro measurements of transmittance in the rat brain slices. The intensity profile along the vertical axis had an exponential decline with multiple regions that could be approximated with different coefficients. The Monte Carlo method that was used to simulate light-tissue interactions and predict the scattering coefficient of brain tissue from the measurements suggested that more scattering occurred in deeper layers of the cortex. A single scattering coefficient of 125 cm-1 was estimated for cortical layers from 300 to 1500 μ m and a gradually increasing value from 125 to 370 cm-1 for depths of 1500 to 3000 μ m. The deviations of in vivo results from the in vitro transmittance measurements, as well as the postmortem in vivo results from the alive measurements were significant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number075001
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering


  • Monte Carlo simulation
  • laser-tissue interactions
  • light absorption and scattering
  • neural stimulation
  • neural tissue optics


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