Journal of Mathematical Imaging and Vision

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 263–283

Application of the finite-element method for the forward and inverse models in optical tomography


  • M. Schweiger
    • Department of Medical Physics and BioengineeringUniversity College London
  • S. R. Arridge
    • Department of Computer ScienceUniversity College London
  • D. T. Delpy
    • Department of Medical Physics and BioengineeringUniversity College London

DOI: 10.1007/BF01248356

Cite this article as:
Schweiger, M., Arridge, S.R. & Delpy, D.T. J Math Imaging Vis (1993) 3: 263. doi:10.1007/BF01248356


The development of an optical tomographic imaging system for biological tissue based on time-resolved near-infrared transillumination has received considerable interest recently. The reconstruction problem is ill posed because of scatter-dominated photon propagation, and hence it requires both an accurate and fast transport model and a robust solution convergence scheme. The iterative image recovery algorithm described in this paper uses a numerical finite-element solution to the diffusion equation as the photon propagation model. The model itself is used to compare the influence of absorbing and scattering inhomogeneities embedded in a homogeneous tissue sample on boundary measurements to estimate the possibility of separating absorption and scattering images. Images of absorbers and scatterers reconstructed from both mean-time-of-flight and logarithmic intensity data are presented. It is found that mean-time-of-flight data offer increased resolution for reconstructing the scattering coefficient, whereas intensity data are favorable for reconstructing absorption.

Key words

near-infrared imagingdiffusion approximationfinite-element methodimage reconstruction

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993