Adaptable three-dimensional Monte Carlo modeling of imaged blood vessels in skin

T. Joshua Pfefer, Jennifer K. Barton, Eric K. Chan, Mathieu G. Ducros, Brian S. Sorg, Thomas E. Milner, John S.M.D. Nelson, Ashley J. Welch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


In order to reach a higher level of accuracy in simulation of port wine stain treatment, we propose to discard the typical layered geometry and cylindrical blood vessel assumptions made in optical models and use imaging techniques to define actual tissue geometry. Two main additions to the typical 3D, weighted photon, variable step size Monte Carlo routine were necessary to achieve this goal. First, optical low coherence reflectometry (OLCR) images of rat skin were used to specify a 3D material array, with each entry assigned a label to represent the type of tissue in that particular voxel. Second, the Monte Carlo algorithm was altered so that when a photon crosses into a new voxel, the remaining path length is recalculated using the new optical properties, as specified by the material array. The model has shown good agreement with data from the literature. Monte Carlo simulations using OLCR images of asymmetrically curved blood vessels show various effects such as shading, scattering-induced peaks at vessel surfaces, and directionality-induced gradients in energy deposition. In conclusion, this augmentation of the Monte Carlo method can accurately simulate light transport for a wide variety of nonhomogeneous tissue geometries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
PublisherSociety of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)0819423866
StatePublished - 1997
EventLaser-Tissue Interaction VIII - San Jose, CA, USA
Duration: Feb 9 1997Feb 12 1997

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherLaser-Tissue Interaction VIII
CitySan Jose, CA, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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