The photo-electric current in laser-Doppler flowmetry by Monte Carlo simulations
AUTHORS: Binzoni T, Leung TS, Van De Ville D
Physics in Medicine and Biology, 54(14): 303-18, July 2009
Monte Carlo (MC) simulations significantly contributed to a better understanding of laser-Doppler flowmetry (LDF). Here it is shown that the data obtained from standard MC simulations can be reinterpreted and used to extract more information such as the photo-electric current (i(t)). This is important because i(t) is the starting point for evaluating any existing or new algorithm to be used in LDF instrumentation. This circumvents the tedious procedure of generating a specific model (often approximated if possible at all) each time a different algorithm is considered. By a series of tutorial examples, the influence of various parameters is investigated, e.g. sampling rate, total acquisition time and dc filtering. These cases also demonstrate the fundamental role played by the photons’ random phase in the shaping of the LDF signal. In particular, it is demonstrated by MC simulation that when the number of photon-moving red blood cell interactions is too low, then the Siegert relation that exists between the field and photo-electric current autocorrelation functions does not hold. This is an important point because the validity of the Siegert relation is implicitly admitted in the majority of the classical analytical models for the autocorrelation function in LDF (the classical MC approach does not allow one to study this problem). The proposed method and examples could stimulate new ideas and help the scientific community develop, test and validate new approaches in LDF.