To realize three-dimensional (3D) optical imaging of the internal structure of an animal body, we have developed a new technique to reconstruct optical computed tomography (optical CT) images from two-dimensional (2D) transillumination images. In transillumination imaging of an animal body using near-infrared light, the image is blurred because of the strong scattering in the tissue. To overcome this problem, we propose a novel technique to apply the point spread function (PSF) for a light source located inside the medium to the transilluminated image of light-absorbing structure. The problem of the depth-dependence of PSF was solved in the calculation of the projection image in the filtered back-projection method. The effectiveness of the proposed technique was assessed in the experiments with a model phantom and a mouse. These analyses verified the feasibility of the practical 3D imaging of the internal light-absorbing structure of a small animal.
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