MCmatlab: An open-source, user-friendly, MATLAB-integrated 3D Monte Carlo light transport solver with heat diffusion and tissue damage

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedings – Annual report year: 2019Researchpeer-review



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While there exist many Monte Carlo (MC) programs for solving the radiative transfer equation (RTE) in biological tissues, we have identified a need for an open-source MC program that is sufficiently user-friendly for use in an education environment, in which detailed knowledge of compiling or UNIX command-line cannot be assumed. Therefore, we introduce MCmatlab, an open-source codebase thus far consisting of (a) a fast 3D Monte Carlo RTE solver and (b) a finite-element heat diffusion and Arrhenius-based thermal tissue damage simulator, both run in MATLAB. The kernel for both of these solvers are written in parallelized C and implemented as MATLAB MEX functions, combining the speed of C with the familiarity and versatility of MATLAB. We present example results generated by the RTE solver and the thermal model. MCmatlab is easy to install and use and can be used by students and experienced researchers alike for simulating tissue light propagation and, optionally, thermal damage.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE
Number of pages12
PublisherSPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication date2019
Article number108760T
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventSPIE Photonics West 2019: Optical Interactions with Tissue and Cells XXX - Moscone Center, San Francisco, United States
Duration: 2 Feb 20197 Feb 2019
Conference number: 10876


ConferenceSPIE Photonics West 2019: Optical Interactions with Tissue and Cells XXX
LocationMoscone Center
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco
Internet address
SeriesProceedings of SPIE, the International Society for Optical Engineering
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: No match on DOI

    Research areas

  • Monte Carlo methods, Photothermal effects, 3D modeling, Tissue optics, Scattering, Absorption

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