A background correction method to compensate illumination variation in hyperspectral imaging.
Hyperspectral imaging (HSI) can measure both spatial (morphological) and spectral (biochemical) information from biological tissues. While HSI appears promising for biomedical applications, interpretation of hyperspectral images can be challenging when data is acquired in complex biological environments. Variations in surface topology or optical power distribution at the sample, encountered for example during endoscopy, can lead to errors in post-processing of the HSI data, compromising disease diagnostic capabilities. Here, we propose a background correction method to compensate for such variations, which estimates the optical properties of illumination at the target based on the normalised spectral profile of the light source and the measured HSI intensity values at a fixed wavelength where the absorption characteristics of the sample are relatively low (in this case, 800 nm). We demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed method by imaging blood samples, tissue-mimicking phantoms, and ex vivo chicken tissue. Moreover, using synthetic HSI data composed from experimentally measured spectra, we show the proposed method would improve statistical analysis of HSI data. The proposed method could help the implementation of HSI techniques in practical clinical applications, where controlling the illumination pattern and power is difficult.