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Commun Numer Methods Eng. 2009;25(6):751-770.

A Parallel Adaptive Finite Element Method for the Simulation of Photon Migration with the Radiative-Transfer-Based Model.

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David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging, University of California, 700 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


Whole-body optical molecular imaging of mouse models in preclinical research is rapidly developing in recent years. In this context, it is essential and necessary to develop novel simulation methods of light propagation for optical imaging, especially when a priori knowledge, large-volume domain and a wide-range of optical properties need to be considered in the reconstruction algorithm. In this paper, we propose a three dimensional parallel adaptive finite element method with simplified spherical harmonics (SP(N)) approximation to simulate optical photon propagation in large-volumes of heterogenous tissues. The simulation speed is significantly improved by a posteriori parallel adaptive mesh refinement and dynamic mesh repartitioning. Compared with the diffusion equation and the Monte Carlo methods, the SP(N) method shows improved performance and the necessity of high-order approximation in heterogeneous domains. Optimal solver selection and time-costing analysis in real mouse geometry further improve the performance of the proposed algorithm and show the superiority of the proposed parallel adaptive framework for whole-body optical molecular imaging in murine models.

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