Light Propagation

A key factor for understanding laser-tissue interaction – be it for imaging, therapy or surgery – is taking into account the diffusive propagation of light inside strongly scattering biological tissues.

Our research is directed along three branches:

  • Simulation of light propagation: For simple geometries and optical properties fulfilling certain conditions, analytic solutions exist for describing the time-dependent spatial distribution of light intensity. In many cases, however, the underlying models are not able to describe reality in a satisfactory way. Therefore, we have developed a general-purpose Monte Carlo simulation software to model light propagation in soft condensed matter such as biological tissues. This software is composed of a user interface in IDL/GDL combined with a stand-alone photon path generation routine implemented in C++, and was rigorously validated by comparison with experimental results.
  • We are developing experimental setups for the accurate optical characterization of highly scattering media based on our light propagation models.
  • We investigate polarimetric imaging and fluorescence life time imaging in strongly scattering media, with the prospects of developing novel diagnostic techniques.