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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2008, Article ID 784354, 5 pages
Research Article

An Approximate Numerical Technique for Characterizing Optical Pulse Propagation in Inhomogeneous Biological Tissue

Advanced Computing and Simulation Laboratory (AXL), Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering, Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3800, Australia

Received 8 September 2007; Accepted 19 December 2007

Academic Editor: Daniel Howard

Copyright © 2008 Chintha C. Handapangoda and Malin Premaratne. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


An approximate numerical technique for modeling optical pulse propagation through weakly scattering biological tissue is developed by solving the photon transport equation in biological tissue that includes varying refractive index and varying scattering/absorption coefficients. The proposed technique involves first tracing the ray paths defined by the refractive index profile of the medium by solving the eikonal equation using a Runge-Kutta integration algorithm. The photon transport equation is solved only along these ray paths, minimizing the overall computational burden of the resulting algorithm. The main advantage of the current algorithm is that it enables to discretise the pulse propagation space adaptively by taking optical depth into account. Therefore, computational efficiency can be increased without compromising the accuracy of the algorithm.