An experimental and numerical modelling investigation of the optical properties of Intralipid using deep Raman spectroscopy

Analyst. 2021 Dec 6;146(24):7601-7610. doi: 10.1039/d1an01801a.


In this study, Monte Carlo simulations were created to investigate the distribution of Raman signals in tissue phantoms and to validate the arctk code that was used. The aim was to show our code is capable of replicating experimental results in order to use it to advise similar future studies and to predict the outcomes. The experiment performed to benchmark our code used large volume liquid tissue phantoms to simulate the scattering properties of human tissue. The scattering agent used was Intralipid (IL), of various concentrations, filling a small quartz tank. A thin sample of PTFE was made to act as a distinct layer in the tank; this was our Raman signal source. We studied experimentally, and then reproduced via simulations, the variation in Raman signal strength in a transmission geometry as a function of the optical properties of the scattering agent and the location of the Raman material in the volume. We have also found that a direct linear extrapolation of scattering coefficients between concentrations of Intralipid is an incorrect assumption at lower concentrations when determining the optical properties. By combining experimental and simulation results, we have calculated different estimates of these scattering coefficients. The results of this study give insight into light propagation and Raman transport in scattering media and show how the location of maximum Raman signal varies as the optical properties change. The success of arctk in reproducing observed experimental signal behaviour will allow us in future to inform the development of noninvasive cancer screening applications (such as breast and prostate cancers) in vivo.

MeSH terms

  • Emulsions
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Monte Carlo Method
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Phospholipids
  • Scattering, Radiation
  • Soybean Oil*
  • Spectrum Analysis, Raman*


  • Emulsions
  • Phospholipids
  • soybean oil, phospholipid emulsion
  • Soybean Oil