Three-dimensional, multiwavelength Monte Carlo simulations of dermally implantable luminescent sensors.
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Dermally implanted luminescent sensors have been proposed for monitoring of tissue biochemistry, which has the potential to improve treatments for conditions such as diabetes and kidney failure. Effective in vivo monitoring via noninvasive transdermal measurement of emission from injected microparticles requires a matched optoelectronic system for excitation and collection of luminescence. We applied Monte Carlo modeling to predict the characteristics of output luminescence from microparticles in skin to facilitate hardware design. Three-dimensional, multiwavelength Monte Carlo simulations were used to determine the spatial and spectral distribution of the escaping luminescence for different implantation depths, excitation light source properties, particle characteristics, and particle packing density. Results indicate that the ratio of output emission to input excitation power ranged 10(-3) to 10(-6) for sensors at the upper and lower dermal boundaries, respectively, and 95% of the escaping emission photons induced by a 10-mm-diam excitation beam were confined within an 18-mm circle. Tightly packed sensor configurations yielded higher output intensity with fewer particles, even after luminophore concentration effects were removed. Most importantly, for the visible wavelengths studied, the ability to measure spectral changes in emission due to glucose changes was not significantly affected by absorption and scattering of tissue, which supports the potential to accurately track changes in luminescence of sensor implants that respond to the biochemistry of the skin.