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We present a system for non-contact time-resolved diffuse reflectance imaging, based on small source-detector distance and high dynamic range measurements utilizing a fast-gated single-photon avalanche diode. The system is suitable for imaging of diffusive media without any contact with the sample and with a spatial resolution of about 1 cm at 1 cm depth. In order to objectively assess its performances, we adopted two standardized protocols developed for time-domain brainimagers. The related tests included the recording of the instrument response function of the setup and the responsivity of its detectionsystem. Moreover, by using liquid turbid phantoms with absorbing inclusions, depth-dependent contrast and contrast-to-noise ratio as well as lateral spatial resolution were measured. To illustrate the potentialities of the novel approach, the characteristics of the non-contact system are discussed and compared to those of a fiber-based brainimager.


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