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Published August 2016 | Published
Journal Article Open

Focusing light through biological tissue and tissue-mimicking phantoms up to 9.6 cm in thickness with digital optical phase conjugation


Optical phase conjugation (OPC)-based wavefront shaping techniques focus light through or within scattering media, which is critically important for deep-tissue optical imaging, manipulation, and therapy. However, to date, the sample thickness in OPC experiments has been limited to only a few millimeters. Here, by using a laser with a long coherence length and an optimized digital OPC system that can safely deliver more light power, we focused 532-nm light through tissue-mimicking phantoms up to 9.6 cm thick, as well as through ex vivo chicken breast tissue up to 2.5 cm thick. Our results demonstrate that OPC can be achieved even when photons have experienced on average 1000 scattering events. The demonstrated penetration of nearly 10 cm (∼100 transport mean free paths) has never been achieved before by any optical focusing technique, and it shows the promise of OPC for deep-tissue noninvasive optical imaging, manipulation, and therapy.

Additional Information

© 2016 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. Paper 160364R received Jun. 2, 2016; accepted for publication Jul. 25, 2016; published online Aug. 12, 2016. The authors thank Dr. Puxiang Lai for helpful discussions, and Prof. James Ballard for proofreading the article. This work was sponsored in part by the National Institutes of Health Grant Nos. DP1 EB016986 and R01 CA186567.

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