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Simulation of near-infrared light propagation through the thorax of a neonate: addressing the optimisation of source and detector positions for measuring lung oxygen content in preterm infants
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Paper Abstract

Gas in scattering media absorption spectroscopy shortly called GASMAS, is a tunable diode laser spectroscopic technique developed for the measurement of gas present in turbid media. The technique relies on the sharp and specific absorption lines of gases which enables sensitive measurements of gas concentrations in the presence of a scattering solid medium with much broader absorption features. The Biophotonics laboratory at Tyndall National Institute (Biophotonics@Tyndall) is currently exploring the clinical translation of GASMAS technology into the respiratory healthcare of neonates. In this study, we use computational tools to assess the potential gain in gas absorption signal. One of the challenges in the development of the GASMAS technique is to obtain a sufficiently good signal in the measurements, as the light attenuation is high in tissue and the lungs are interior organs. To have an estimation of the capabilities and limitations in this specific application of gas spectroscopy, we model the transmission of near infrared (NIR) light in tissue when a 760 nm source and a set of 68 detectors are placed in different locations over the thorax. We segmented the main organs of the thorax from anonymized DICOM images of a neonate. This is followed by the creation of 3D computational models to solve light propagation with the diffusion equation, and the modelling of light propagation through the thorax of an infant including optical properties of lung, heart, arteries, bone, muscle, trachea, fat and skin. Finally, we calculate a map of the optimal light source – detector configurations to obtain the highest signal from oxygen gas imprint in the lungs. The use of computational tools such as NIRFAST Slicer 2.0 for investigation and further understanding of the advantages and limitations of the technology is fundamental.

Such simulations enable the recreation of different clinical scenarios and identification of the minimum requirements necessary to further improve the application and develop a bedside clinical device that can potentially be used for continuous monitoring of lung function and control of ventilator settings. The potential capability of measuring non-invasively oxygen, water vapour and carbon dioxide in the lungs, would reduce the need for intubation and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, as well as lower the incidences of chronic lung disease.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 November 2019
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 11190, Optics in Health Care and Biomedical Optics IX, 111901C (20 November 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2537875
Show Author Affiliations
Andrea Pacheco, Tyndall National Institute (Ireland)
Univ. College Cork (Ireland)
Emilie Krite Svanberg, Skåne Univ. Hospital (Sweden)
Eugene Dempsey, Cork Univ. Maternity Hospital (Ireland)
Stefan Andersson-Engels, Tyndall National Institute (Ireland)
Univ. College Cork (Ireland)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11190:
Optics in Health Care and Biomedical Optics IX
Qingming Luo; Xingde Li; Ying Gu; Yuguo Tang; Dan Zhu, Editor(s)

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