OSA's Digital Library

Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics


  • Editors: Andrew Dunn and Anthony Durkin
  • Vol. 8, Iss. 10 — Nov. 8, 2013

Simulation of diffuse photon migration in tissue by a Monte Carlo method derived from the optical scattering of spheroids

Vern P. Hart and Timothy E. Doyle  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 52, Issue 25, pp. 6220-6229 (2013)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (924 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



A Monte Carlo method was derived from the optical scattering properties of spheroidal particles and used for modeling diffuse photon migration in biological tissue. The spheroidal scattering solution used a separation of variables approach and numerical calculation of the light intensity as a function of the scattering angle. A Monte Carlo algorithm was then developed which utilized the scattering solution to determine successive photon trajectories in a three-dimensional simulation of optical diffusion and resultant scattering intensities in virtual tissue. Monte Carlo simulations using isotropic randomization, Henyey–Greenstein phase functions, and spherical Mie scattering were additionally developed and used for comparison to the spheroidal method. Intensity profiles extracted from diffusion simulations showed that the four models differed significantly. The depth of scattering extinction varied widely among the four models, with the isotropic, spherical, spheroidal, and phase function models displaying total extinction at depths of 3.62, 2.83, 3.28, and 1.95 cm, respectively. The results suggest that advanced scattering simulations could be used as a diagnostic tool by distinguishing specific cellular structures in the diffused signal. For example, simulations could be used to detect large concentrations of deformed cell nuclei indicative of early stage cancer. The presented technique is proposed to be a more physical description of photon migration than existing phase function methods. This is attributed to the spheroidal structure of highly scattering mitochondria and elongation of the cell nucleus, which occurs in the initial phases of certain cancers. The potential applications of the model and its importance to diffusive imaging techniques are discussed.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(110.6960) Imaging systems : Tomography
(170.3660) Medical optics and biotechnology : Light propagation in tissues
(170.5280) Medical optics and biotechnology : Photon migration
(290.1990) Scattering : Diffusion
(290.4210) Scattering : Multiple scattering
(290.7050) Scattering : Turbid media

ToC Category:

Original Manuscript: March 28, 2013
Revised Manuscript: June 27, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: July 29, 2013
Published: August 26, 2013

Virtual Issues
Vol. 8, Iss. 10 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Vern P. Hart and Timothy E. Doyle, "Simulation of diffuse photon migration in tissue by a Monte Carlo method derived from the optical scattering of spheroids," Appl. Opt. 52, 6220-6229 (2013)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. M. Cutler, “Transillumination as an aid in the diagnosis of breast lesions,” Surg. Gynecol. Obstet. 48, 721–727 (1929).
  2. E. Carlsen, “Transillumination light scanning,” Diagn. Imaging 4, 28–34 (1982).
  3. C. M. Gros, Y. Quenneville, and Y. J. Hummel, “Diaphanologie mammaire,” Radiol. Electrol. Med. Nucl. 53, 297–306 (1972).
  4. D. A. Boas, D. H. Brooks, E. L. Miller, C. A. Dimarzio, M. Kilmer, R. J. Gaudette, and Q. Zhang, “Imaging the body with diffuse optical tomography,” IEEE Signal Process. Mag. 18, 57–75 (2001). [CrossRef]
  5. J. Wang, S. Jiang, Z. Li, R. M. diFlorio-Alexander, R. J. Barth, P. A. Kaufman, B. W. Pogue, and K. D. Paulsen, “In vivo quantitative imaging of normal and cancerous breast tissue using broadband diffuse optical tomography,” Med. Phys. 37, 3715–3724 (2010). [CrossRef]
  6. H. J. Böhringer, E. Lankenau, F. Stellmacher, E. Reusche, G. Hüttmann, and A. Giese, “Imaging of human brain tumor tissue by near-infrared laser coherence tomography,” Acta Neurochirugica 151, 507–517 (2009). [CrossRef]
  7. J. Boutet, L. Herve, M. Debourdeau, L. Guyon, P. Peltie, J. Dinten, L. Saroul, F. Duboeuf, and D. Vray, “Bimodal ultrasound and fluorescence approach for prostate cancer diagnosis,” J. Biomed Opt. 14, 064001 (2009). [CrossRef]
  8. A. Custo, D. A. Boas, D. Tsuzuki, I. Dan, R. Mesquita, B. Fischl, W. E. L. Grimson, and W. Wells, “Anatomical atlas-guided diffuse optical tomography of brain activation,” NeuroImage 49, 561–567 (2010). [CrossRef]
  9. M. Friebel, J. Helfmann, U. Netz, and M. Meinke, “Influence of oxygen saturation on the optical scattering properties of human red blood cells in the spectral range 250 to 2000 nm,” J. Biomed. Opt. 14, 034001 (2009). [CrossRef]
  10. F. E. Robles, S. Chowdhury, and A. Wax, “Assessing hemoglobin concentration using spectroscopic optical coherence tomography for feasibility of tissue diagnostics,” Biomed. Opt. Express 1, 310–317 (2010). [CrossRef]
  11. L. Zamboni, D. R. Mishell, J. H. Bell, and M. Baca, “Fine structure of the human ovum in the pronuclear stage,” J. Cell Biol. 30, 579–600 (1966). [CrossRef]
  12. B. Beauvoit, S. M. Evans, T. W. Jenkins, E. E. Miller, and B. Chance, “Correlation between the light scattering and the mitochondrial content of normal tissues and transplantable rodent tumors,” Anal. Biochem. 226, 167–174 (1995). [CrossRef]
  13. A. Dunn and R. Richards-Kortum, “Three-dimensional computation of light scattering from cells,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 2, 898–905 (1996). [CrossRef]
  14. C. E. Wenner, E. J. Harris, and B. C. Pressman, “Relationship of the light scattering properties of mitochondria to the metabolic state in intact ascites cells,” J. Biol. Chem. 242, 3454–3459 (1967).
  15. T. H. Ji and D. W. Urry, “Correlation of light scattering and absorption flattening effects with distortions in the circular dichroism patterns of mitochondrial membrane fragments,” Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 34, 404–411 (1969). [CrossRef]
  16. J. R. Mourant, M. Canpolat, C. Brocker, O. Esponda-Ramos, T. M. Johnson, A. Matanock, K. Stetter, and J. P. Freyer, “Light scattering from cells: the contribution of the nucleus and the effects of proliferative status,” J. Biomed. Opt. 5, 131–137 (2000). [CrossRef]
  17. X. Su, C. Capjack, W. Rozmus, and C. Backhouse, “2D light scattering patterns of mitochondria in single cells,” Opt. Express 15, 10562–10575 (2007). [CrossRef]
  18. A. Claude and E. F. Fullam, “An electron microscope study of isolated mitochondria: method and preliminary results,” J. Exp. Med. 81, 51–62 (1945). [CrossRef]
  19. K. Yamauchi, M. Yang, P. Jiang, N. Yamamoto, M. Xu, Y. Amoh, K. Tsuji, M. Bouvet, H. Tsuchiya, K. Tomita, A. R. Moossa, and R. M. Hoffman, “Real-time in vivo dual-color imaging of intracapillary cancer cell and nucleus deformation and migration,” Cancer Res. 65, 4246–4252 (2005). [CrossRef]
  20. L. Liu, A. Vo, G. Liu, and W. L. McKeehan, “Distinct structural domains within C19ORF5 support association with stabilized microtubules and mitochondrial aggregation and genome destruction,” Cancer Res. 65, 4191–4201 (2005). [CrossRef]
  21. X. Su, K. Singh, W. Rozmus, C. Backhouse, and C. Capjack, “Light scattering characterization of mitochondrial aggregation in single cells,” Opt. Express 17, 13381–13388 (2009). [CrossRef]
  22. L. V. Wang and H. Wu, Biomedical Optics: Principles and Imaging (Wiley, 2007), pp. 37–60.
  23. N. V. Voshchinnikov, “Electromagnetic scattering by homogenous and coated spheroids: calculations using the separation of variables method,” J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transfer 55, 627–636 (1996). [CrossRef]
  24. T. Rother, “Generalization of the separation of variables method for non-spherical scattering on dielectric objects,” J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transfer 60, 335–353 (1998). [CrossRef]
  25. S. Asano and G. Yamamoto, “Light scattering by a spheroidal particle,” Appl. Opt. 14, 29–49 (1975).
  26. J. A. Stratton, Electromagnetic Theory (McGraw-Hill, 1941).
  27. C. Flammer, Spheroidal Wave Functions (Stanford University, 1957).
  28. P. Kirby, “Calculation of spheroidal wave functions,” Comp. Phys. Commun. 175, 465–472 (2006).
  29. B. J. Tromberg, N. Shah, R. Lanning, A. Cerussi, J. Espinoza, T. Pham, L. Svaasand, and J. Butler, “Non-invasive in vivo characterization of breast tumors using photon migration spectroscopy,” Neoplasia 2, 26–40 (2000). [CrossRef]
  30. T. Durduran, R. Choe, J. P. Culver, L. Zubkov, M. J. Holboke, J. Giammarco, B. Chance, and A. G. Yodh, “Bulk optical properties of healthy female breast tissue,” Phys. Med. Biol. 47, 2847–2861 (2002). [CrossRef]
  31. L. G. Henyey and J. L. Greenstein, “Diffuse radiation in the galaxy,” Astrophys. J. 93, 70–83 (1941). [CrossRef]
  32. Y. Xu, “Electromagnetic scattering by an aggregate of spheres,” Appl. Opt. 34, 4573–4588 (1995). [CrossRef]

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.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited