Layered Monte Carlo model for the description of diffuse reflectance spectra from pigmented skin lesions

V. P. Wallace, P. S. Mortimer, R. J. Ott, J. C. Bamber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Diffuse reflectance measurements of pigmented lesions has been shown to provide information useful for diagnosis. This technique can provide additional information that is not available to dermatologists by visual examination alone. It is desirable however, to gain an understanding of how this information originates from the histological and structural differences within lesions. If such an understanding could be obtained particularly through an accurate theoretical model for the interaction of light with pigmented lesions, it might be possible to improve the design of the reflectance measurement system and the resulting diagnostic performance. Semi-quantitative measurements of histological sections of pigmented lesions were made of the features thought most likely to affect the optical properties. A theoretical model using a layered Monte Carlo simulation was suggested to explain the observed reflectance spectra in terms of the histological features and to better understand how the optical properties are changed due to the presence of malignancy. We found that the microscopic structure such as cell morphology, layer thickness and melanin content are associated with differing optical properties and hence reflectance spectra.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-135
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


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