Document Type


Article Version

Publisher's PDF

Publication Date



Biological tissue has a complex structure and exhibits rich spectroscopic behavior. There has been no tissue model until now that has been able to account for the observed spectroscopy of tissue light scattering and its anisotropy. Here we present, for the first time, a plum pudding random medium (PPRM) model for biological tissue which succinctly describes tissue as a superposition of distinctive scattering structures (plum) embedded inside a fractal continuous medium of background refractive index fluctuation (pudding). PPRM faithfully reproduces the wavelength dependence of tissue light scattering and attributes the “anomalous” trend in the anisotropy to the plum and the powerlaw dependence of the reduced scattering coefficient to the fractal scattering pudding. Most importantly, PPRM opens up a novel venue of quantifying the tissue architecture and microscopic structures on average from macroscopic probing of the bulk with scattered light alone without tissue excision. We demonstrate this potential by visualizing the fine microscopic structural alterations in breast tissue (adipose, glandular, fibrocystic, fibroadenoma, and ductal carcinoma) deduced from noncontact spectroscopic measurement. © 2017 Optical Society of America


© 2017 Optical Society of America. Users may use, reuse, and build upon the article, or use the article for text or data mining, so long as such uses are for non-commercial purposes and appropriate attribution is maintained. All other rights are reserved.

The final publisher PDF has been archived here with permission from the copyright holder.

Publication Title

Biomedical optics express

Published Citation

Xu, M. (2017). Plum pudding random medium model of biological tissue toward remote microscopy from spectroscopic light scattering. Biomedical optics express, 8(6), 2879-2895. doi:10.1364/BOE.8.002879.



Peer Reviewed