Journal of Biomedical OpticsMonte Carlo simulation of light transport in tissue for optimizing light delivery in photoacoustic imaging of the sentinel lymph node
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Noninvasive or minimally invasive identification of sentinel lymph node (SLN) is essential to reduce the surgical effects of SLN biopsy. Photoacoustic (PA) imaging of SLN in animal models has shown its promise for clinical use in the future. Here, we present a Monte Carlo simulation for light transport in the SLN for various light delivery configurations with a clinical ultrasound probe. Our simulation assumes a realistic tissue layer model and also can handle the transmission/reflectance at SLN-tissue boundary due to the mismatch of refractive index. Various light incidence angles show that for deeply situated SLNs the maximum absorption of light in the SLN is for normal incidence. We also show that if a part of the diffused reflected photons is reflected back into the skin using a reflector, the absorption of light in the SLN can be increased significantly to enhance the PA signal.