New nonlocal forward model for diffuse optical tomography

Wenqi Lu, Jinming Duan, Joshua Deepak Veesa, Iain Styles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
154 Downloads (Pure)


The forward model in diffuse optical tomography (DOT) describes how light propagates through a turbid medium. It is often approximated by a diffusion equation (DE) that is numerically discretized by the classical finite element method (FEM). We propose a nonlocal diffusion equation (NDE) as a new forward model for DOT, the discretization of which is carried out with an efficient graph-based numerical method (GNM). To quantitatively evaluate the new forward model, we first conduct experiments on a homogeneous slab, where the numerical accuracy of both NDE and DE is compared against the existing analytical solution. We further evaluate NDE by comparing its image reconstruction performance (inverse problem) to that of DE. Our experiments show that NDE is quantitatively comparable to DE and is up to 64% faster due to the efficient graph-based representation that can be implemented identically for geometries in different dimensions. The proposed discretization method can be easily applied to other imaging techniques like diffuse correlation spectroscopy which are normally modeled by the diffusion equation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6227-6241
Number of pages15
JournalBiomedical Optics Express
Issue number12
Early online date12 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


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