Optical dosimetry probes to validate Monte Carlo and empirical-method-based NIR dose planning in the brain

Akshay Prabhu Verleker, Michael Shaffer, Qianqian Fang, Mi Ran Choi, Susan Clare, Keith M. Stantz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


A three-dimensional photon dosimetry in tissues is critical in designing optical therapeutic protocols to trigger light-activated drug release. The objective of this study is to investigate the feasibility of a Monte Carlo-based optical therapy planning software by developing dosimetry tools to characterize and cross-validate the local photon fluence in brain tissue, as part of a long-term strategy to quantify the effects of photoactivated drug release in brain tumors. An existing GPU-based 3D Monte Carlo (MC) code was modified to simulate near-infrared photon transport with differing laser beam profiles within phantoms of skull bone (B), white matter (WM), and gray matter (GM). A novel titanium-based optical dosimetry probe with isotropic acceptance was used to validate the local photon fluence, and an empirical model of photon transport was developed to significantly decrease execution time for clinical application. Comparisons between the MC and the dosimetry probe measurements were on an average 11.27%, 13.25%, and 11.81% along the illumination beam axis, and 9.4%, 12.06%, 8.91% perpendicular to the beam axis for WM, GM, and B phantoms, respectively. For a heterogeneous head phantom, the measured % errors were 17.71% and 18.04% along and perpendicular to beam axis. The empirical algorithm was validated by probe measurements and matched the MC results (R2 > 0.99), with average % error of 10.1%, 45.2%, and 22.1% relative to probe measurements, and 22.6%, 35.8%, and 21.9% relative to the MC, for WM, GM, and B phantoms, respectively. The simulation time for the empirical model was 6 s versus 8 h for the GPU-based Monte Carlo for a head phantom simulation. These tools provide the capability to develop and optimize treatment plans for optimal release of pharmaceuticals in the treatment of cancer. Future work will test and validate these novel delivery and release mechanisms in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9875-9888
Number of pages14
JournalApplied optics
Issue number34
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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