Time-resolved breast transillumination: Monte Carlo simulation and comparison with experimental results

Emmanuel B. Haller*, Christian Depeursinge

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


A Monte-Carlo simulation of photon transport through biological tissues has been developed to predict the quality of time resolved images of the breast by transillumination. The smallest diameter of a detectable carcinoma located in the breast has been computed. The simulation has been compared with analytical results of the multiple scattering theory and then with experimental results from streak camera measurements. The validity of the simulation has been thus assessed. The simulation suggests that time resolved imaging of biological tissues is possible and invaluable in the near infrared by transillumination. The enhancement of the transfer function by the introduction of time resolved detection is verified and the limitative contribution of the noise at short gating times has been investigated. The estimated diameter of the smallest detectable sphere is derived from the image quality index theory and its value is around 4 mm for a 40 mm thick breast slab. The simulated images of an absorbing object (approximating the carcinoma) within a homogeneous medium (approximating the surrounding tissue) show a significant improvement of the image with short gating times.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
EditorsBritton Chance, Robert R. Alfano
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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