OSA's Digital Library

Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Michael Duncan
  • Vol. 10, Iss. 3 — Feb. 11, 2002
  • pp: 159–170

Three dimensional Monte Carlo code for photon migration through complex heterogeneous media including the adult human head

D. A. Boas, J. P. Culver, J. J. Stott, and A. K. Dunn  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 10, Issue 3, pp. 159-170 (2002)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (974 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



We describe a novel Monte Carlo code for photon migration through 3D media with spatially varying optical properties. The code is validated against analytic solutions of the photon diffusion equation for semi-infinite homogeneous media. The code is also cross-validated for photon migration through a slab with an absorbing heterogeneity. A demonstration of the utility of the code is provided by showing time-resolved photon migration through a human head. This code, known as ‘tMCimg’, is available on the web and can serve as a resource for solving the forward problem for complex 3D structural data obtained by MRI or CT.

© Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(170.3660) Medical optics and biotechnology : Light propagation in tissues
(170.5280) Medical optics and biotechnology : Photon migration

ToC Category:
Research Papers

Original Manuscript: December 10, 2001
Revised Manuscript: January 25, 2002
Published: February 11, 2002

David Boas, J. Culver, J. Stott, and A. Dunn, "Three dimensional Monte Carlo code for photon migration through complex heterogeneous media including the adult human head," Opt. Express 10, 159-170 (2002)

Sort:  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. A. Villringer and B. Chance, "Non-invasive optical spectroscopy and imaging of human brain function," Trends Neurosci. 20, 435-442 (1997). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  2. B. W. Pogue and K. D. Paulsen, "High-resolution near-infrared tomographic imaging simulations of the rat cranium by use of a priori magnetic resonance imaging structural information," Opt. Lett. 23, 1716-1718 (1998). [CrossRef]
  3. Q. Zhu, T. Durduran, V. Ntziachristos, M. Holboke and A. G. Yodh, "Imager that combines near-infrared diffusive light and ultrasound," Opt. Lett. 24, 1050-1052 (1999). [CrossRef]
  4. M. J. Holboke, B. J. Tromberg, X. Li, N. Shah, J. Fishkin, D. Kidney, J. Butler, B. Chance and A. G. Yodh, "Three-dimensional diffuse optical mammography with ultrasound localization in a human subject," J. Biomed. Opt. 5, 237-47. (2000). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. D. A. Benaron, W. F. Cheong and D. K. Stevenson, "Tissue Optics," Science 276, 2002-2003 (1997). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. D. A. Benaron, S. R. Hintz, A. Villringer, D. Boas, A. Kleinschmidt, J. Frahm, C. Hirth, H. Obrig, J. C. van Houten, E. L. Kermit, W. F. Cheong and D. K. Stevenson, "Noninvasive functional imaging of human brain using light," J. Cereb. Blood Flow Metab. 20, 469-77 (2000). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. B. W. Pogue, S. P. Poplack, T. O. McBride, W. A. Wells, K. S. Osterman, U. L. Osterberg and K. D. Paulsen, "Quantitative hemoglobin tomography with diffuse near-infrared spectroscopy: pilot results in the breast," Radiology 218, 261-6. (2001). [PubMed]
  8. V. Ntziachristos and B. Chance, "Probing physiology and molecular function using optical imaging: applications to breast cancer," Breast Cancer Res. 3, 41-6 (2001). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  9. V. Ntziachristos, A. G. Yodh, M. Schnall and B. Chance, "Concurrent MRI and diffuse optical tomography of breast after indocyanine green enhancement," Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U S A 97, 2767-72 (2000) [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. M. A. Franceschini, V. Toronov, M. Filiaci, E. Gratton and S. Fanini, "On-line optical imaging of the human brain with 160-ms temporal resolution," Opt. Express 6, 49-57 (2000). <a href="http://www.opticsexpress.org/oearchive/source/18957.htm">http://www.opticsexpress.org/oearchive/source/18957.htm</a> [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  11. S. R. Hintz, D. A. Benaron, A. M. Siegel, A. Zourabian, D. K. Stevenson and D. A. Boas, "Bedside functional imaging of the premature infant brain during passive motor activation," J. Perinat. Med. 29, 335-43 (2001). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  12. A. Bluestone, G. Abdoulaev, C. Schmitz, R. Barbour and A. Hielscher, "Three-dimensional optical tomography of hemodynamics in the human head," Opt. Express 9, 272-286 (2001). <a href="http://www.opticsexpress.org/oearchive/source/34858.htm">http://www.opticsexpress.org/oearchive/source/34858.htm</a> [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  13. C. S. Robertson, S. P. Gopinath and B. Chance, "A new application for near-infrared spectroscopy: Detection of delayed intracranial hematomas after head injury," J. Neurotrauma 12, 591-600 (1995). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  14. S. R. Hintz, W. F. Cheong, J. P. van Houten, D. K. Stevenson and D. A. Benaron, "Bedside imaging of intracranial hemorrhage in the neonate using light: comparison with ultrasound, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging," Pediatr. Res. 45, 54-9. (1999). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  15. M. A. O'Leary, D. A. Boas, B. Chance and A. G. Yodh, "Experimental images of heterogeneous turbid media by frequency-domain diffusing-photon tomography," Opt. Lett. 20, 426-428 (1995). [CrossRef]
  16. J. C. Hebden, D. J. Hall, M. Firbank and D. T. Delpy, "Time-resolved optical imaging of a solid tissue-equivalent phantom," Appl. Opt. 34, 8038-8047 (1995). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  17. M. Schweiger and S. R. Arridge, "Optical tomographic reconstruction in a complex head model using a priori region boundary information," Phys. Med. Biol. 44, 2703-21 (1999). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  18. A. D. Klose and A. H. Hielscher, "Iterative reconstruction scheme for optical tomography based on the equation of radiative transfer," Med. Phys. 26, 1698-707. (1999). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  19. A. Ishimaru, Wave Propagation and Scattering in Random Media (Academic Press, Inc., San Diego 1978).
  20. E. Okada, M. Schweiger, S. R. Arridge, M. Firbank and D. T. Delpy, "Experimental validation of Monte Carlo and finite-element methods of estimation of the optical path length in inhomogeneous tissue," Appl. Opt. 35, 3362-3371 (1996). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  21. M. Firbank, S. R. Arridge, M. Schweiger and D. T. Delpy, "An investigation of light transport through scattering bodies with non-scattering regions," Phys. Med. Biol. 41, 767-83. (1996). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  22. E. Okada, M. Firbank, M. Schweiger, S. R. Arridge, M. Cope and D. T. Delpy, "Theoretical and experimental investigation of near-infrared light propagation in a model of the adult head," Appl. Opt. 36, 21-31 (1997). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  23. M. Firbank, E. Okada and D. T. Delpy, "A theoretical study of the signal contribution of regions of the adult head to near-infrared spectroscopy studies of visual evoked responses," Neuroimage 8, 69-78. (1998). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  24. A. H. Hielscher, R. E. Alcouffe and R. L. Barbour, "Comparison of finite-difference transport and diffusion calculations for photon migration in homogeneous and heterogeneous tissues," Phys. Med. Biol. 43, 1285-302. (1998). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  25. S. R. Arridge, H. Dehghani, M. Schweiger and E. Okada, "The finite element model for the propagation of light in scattering media: a direct method for domains with nonscattering regions," Med. Phys. 27, 252-64. (2000). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  26. J. Ripoll, M. Nieto-Vesperinas, S. R. Arridge and H. Dehghani, "Boundary conditions for light propagation in diffusive media with nonscattering regions," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 17, 1671-81. (2000). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  27. O. Dorn, "A transport-backtransport method for optical tomography," Inverse Problems 14, 1107-1130 (1998). [CrossRef]
  28. J. J. Stott and D. A. Boas, tMCimg: Monte Carlo code for photon migration through general 3D Media. http://www.nmr.mgh.harvard.edu/DOT
  29. L. Wang, S. L. Jacques and L. Zheng, "MCML-Monte Carlo modeling of light transport in multi-layered tissues," Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine 47, 131-146 (1995). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  30. S. L. Jacques and L. Wang, "Monte Carlo modeling of light transport in tissues" in Optical-Thermal response of laser-irradiated tissue, Welch and v. Gemert (Plenum, New York 1995).
  31. R. C. Haskell, L. O. Svaasand, T. Tsay, T. Feng, M. S. McAdams and B. J. Tromberg, "Boundary conditions for the diffusion equation in radiative transfer," J. Opt. Soc. Am A 11, 2727-2741 (1994). [CrossRef]
  32. S. L. Jacques and L. Wang, "Monte-Caro Modeling of Light Transport in Tissues" in Optical-Thermal Response of Laser Irradiated Tissue, A. J. Welch and M. C. J. van Gemert (Plenum, New York 1995).
  33. C. K. Hayakawa, J. Spanier, F. Bevilacqua, A. K. Dunn, J. S. You, B. J. Tromberg and V. Venugopalan, "Perturbation Monte Carlo methods to solve inverse photon migration problems in heterogeneous tissues," Opt. Lett. 26, 1335-1337 (2001). [CrossRef]
  34. M. S. Patterson, B. Chance and B. C. Wilson, "Time resolved reflectance and transmittance for the non-invasive measurement of tissue optical properties," Appl. Opt. 28, 2331-2336 (1989). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  35. T. J. Farrell, M. S. Patterson and B. Wilson, "A diffusion theory model of spatially resolved, steady state diffuse reflectance for the noninvasive determination of tissue optical properties in vivo," Med. Phys. 19, 879-888 (1992). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  36. A. Kienle and M. S. Patterson, "Improved solutions of the steady-state and the time-resolved diffusion equations for reflectance from semi-infinite turbid medium," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 14, 246-254 (1997). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  37. K. Furutsu and Y. Yamada, "Diffusion approximation for a dissipative random medium and the applications," Phys. Rev. E 50, 3634 (1994). [CrossRef]
  38. T. Durduran, B. Chance, A. G. Yodh and D. A. Boas, "Does the photon diffusion coefficient depend on absorption?," J. Opt. Soc. Am A 14, 3358-3365 (1997). [CrossRef]
  39. A. C. Kak and M. Slaney, Principles of Computerized Tomographic Imaging (IEEE Press, New York 1988).
  40. S. R. Arridge, M. Cope and D. T. Delpy, "The theoretical basis for the determination of optical pathlengths in tissue: temporal and frequency analysis," Phys. Med. Biol. 37, 1531-60 (1992). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  41. S. R. Arridge and M. Schweiger, "Photon-measurement density functions. Part2: Finite-element-method calculations," Appl. Opt. 34, 8026-8037 (1995). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  42. S. R. Arridge and M. Schweiger, "A gradient-based optimisation scheme for optical tomography," Opt. Express 2, 213-226 (1998). <a href="http://www.opticsexpress.org/oearchive/source/4014.htm">http://www.opticsexpress.org/oearchive/source/4014.htm</a> [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  43. A. M. Dale, B. Fischl and M. I. Sereno, "Cortical surface-based analysis. I. Segmentation and surface reconstruction," Neuroimage 9, 179-94 (1999). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

Supplementary Material

» Media 1: AVI (1000 KB)     

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited