Monte Carlo Modeling of Light Transport in Tissues

  • Steven L. Jacques
  • Lihong Wang
Part of the Lasers, Photonics, and Electro-Optics book series (LPEO)


Monte Carlo simulations of photon propagation offer a flexible yet rigorous approach toward photon transport in turbid tissues. This method simulates the “random walk” of photons in a medium that contains absorption and scattering. The method is based on a set of rules that govern the movement of a photon in tissue. The two key decisions are (1) the mean free path for a scattering or absorption event, and (2) the scattering angle. Figure 4.1 illustrates a scattering event. At boundaries, a photon is reflected or moves across the boundary. The rules of photon propagation are expressed as probability distributions for the incremental steps of photon movement between sites of photon—tissue interaction, for the angles of deflection in a photon’s trajectory when a scattering event occurs, and for the probability of transmittance or reflectance at boundaries. Monte Carlo light propagation is rigorous yet very descriptive. However, this method is basically statistical in nature and requires a computer to calculate the propagation of a large number of photons. To illustrate how photons propagate inside tissues, a few photon paths are shown in Fig. 4.2.


Monte Carlo Simulation Probability Density Function Impulse Response Specular Reflectance Monte CARLO Modeling 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven L. Jacques
    • 1
  • Lihong Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.Laser Biology Research LaboratoryThe University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA

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