NIRFAST: FEM Modeling of Near-Infrared Light Transport in Tissue

Friday, 10 September 2010

Venkat Krishnaswamy, Dartmouth College

NIRFAST is a MATLAB-based open source software platform designed for modeling light transport problems and image reconstruction in diffuse media. The core platform is based on the Finite Element Modeling (FEM) approach to solving photon diffusion in tissue, with support for modeling and reconstruction of: 1) single wavelength absorption, reduced scatter and fluorescence; 2) multi-wavelength spectrally constrained models; 3) multi-wavelength fluorescence models; and spatially constrained versions of each of the above. The FEM based approach allows modeling structured and unstructured domains, both in 2-d and 3-d, with support for implementing spectral and arbitrary structural constraints. Sophisticated meshing algorithms are also included for creating quality FEM meshes starting from simple geometries or from images acquired using other medical imaging modalities such as MRI and CT. All functionalities are accessible through a simple Graphical User Interface (GUI) environment that allows creation and execution of the entire modeling workflow in an interactive manner. Basic visualization features are currently provided through standard MATLAB interfaces and other open source codes, while an advanced open source image segmentation and visualization package is also currently under development.