We discuss the determination of optical properties of thick scattering media from measurements of time-resolved transmittance by diffusion theory using Monte Carlo simulations as a gold standard to model photon migration. Our theoretical and experimental investigations reveal differences between calculated distributions of times of flight (DTOFs) of photons from both models which result in an overestimation of the absorption and the reduced scattering coefficient by diffusion theory which becomes larger for small scattering coefficients. By introducing a temporal shift in the DTOFs obtained with the diffusion model as additional fit parameter, the deviation in the absorption coefficient can be compensated almost completely. If the scattering medium is additionally covered by transparent layers (e.g. glass plates) the deviation between the DTOFs from both models is even larger which mainly effects the determination of the reduced scattering coefficient by diffusion theory. A temporal shift improves the accuracy of the optical properties derived by diffusion theory in this case as well.
© 2015 SPIEPDF Article