Journal of Biomedical Optics • Open AccessQuantitative analysis of optical properties of flowing blood using a photon-cell interactive Monte Carlo code: effects of red blood cells' orientation on light scattering
Optical properties of flowing blood were analyzed using a photon-cell interactive Monte Carlo (pciMC) model with the physical properties of the flowing red blood cells (RBCs) such as cell size, shape, refractive index, distribution, and orientation as the parameters. The scattering of light by flowing blood at the He-Ne laser wavelength of 632.8 nm was significantly affected by the shear rate. The light was scattered more in the direction of flow as the flow rate increased. Therefore, the light intensity transmitted forward in the direction perpendicular to flow axis decreased. The pciMC model can duplicate the changes in the photon propagation due to moving RBCs with various orientations. The resulting RBC's orientation that best simulated the experimental results was with their long axis perpendicular to the direction of blood flow. Moreover, the scattering probability was dependent on the orientation of the RBCs. Finally, the pciMC code was used to predict the hematocrit of flowing blood with accuracy of approximately 1.0 HCT%. The photon-cell interactive Monte Carlo (pciMC) model can provide optical properties of flowing blood and will facilitate the development of the non-invasive monitoring of blood in extra corporeal circulatory systems.