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Journal of Biomedical Optics

Monte Carlo simulation of radiation transport in human skin with rigorous treatment of curved tissue boundaries
Author(s): Boris Majaron; Matija Milanič; Jan Premru
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Paper Abstract

In three-dimensional (3-D) modeling of light transport in heterogeneous biological structures using the Monte Carlo (MC) approach, space is commonly discretized into optically homogeneous voxels by a rectangular spatial grid. Any round or oblique boundaries between neighboring tissues thus become serrated, which raises legitimate concerns about the realism of modeling results with regard to reflection and refraction of light on such boundaries. We analyze the related effects by systematic comparison with an augmented 3-D MC code, in which analytically defined tissue boundaries are treated in a rigorous manner. At specific locations within our test geometries, energy deposition predicted by the two models can vary by 10%. Even highly relevant integral quantities, such as linear density of the energy absorbed by modeled blood vessels, differ by up to 30%. Most notably, the values predicted by the customary model vary strongly and quite erratically with the spatial discretization step and upon minor repositioning of the computational grid. Meanwhile, the augmented model shows no such unphysical behavior. Artifacts of the former approach do not converge toward zero with ever finer spatial discretization, confirming that it suffers from inherent deficiencies due to inaccurate treatment of reflection and refraction at round tissue boundaries.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 January 2015
PDF: 11 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 20(1) 015002 doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.20.1.015002
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 20, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Boris Majaron, Jožef Stefan Institute (Slovenia)
Matija Milanič, Jožef Stefan Institute (Slovenia)
Jan Premru, Jožef Stefan Institute (Slovenia)

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