Two experimental setups for time-resolved diffuse optical tomography (DOT) are described. The first involves a titanium-sapphire laser and a streak camera in a synchroscan mode. A multiple-arm light guide allows to measure simultaneously the temporal profiles of photons re-emitted at different boundary sites of the objects studied. The second one uses picosecond laser diodes and a multiple-anode micro-channel plate photomultiplier tube followed by parallel time-correlated single photon counting channels. The two instruments are described and their main specifications compared: instrument response and time resolution, sweep time, temporal stability, sensitivity and its inter-channel variation, cross-talk between adjacent channels. We will also discuss detector-specific data analysis prior to image reconstruction. Both instruments have been tested with phantoms simulating tissues and the absorption and reduced scattering images obtained have been compared.© (2003) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.