We describe a Monte Carlo model of the mouse torso to optimize illumination of the mouse lung for fluorescence detection of low levels of pulmonary pathogens, specifically Mycobacterium tuberculosis. After validation of the simulation with an internally illuminated optical phantom, the entire mouse torso was simulated to compare external and internal illumination techniques. Measured optical properties of deflated mouse lungs were scaled to mimic the diffusive properties of inflated lungs in vivo. Using the full-torso model, a 2 × to 3 × improvement in average fluence rate in the lung was seen for dorsal compared with ventral positioning of the mouse with external illumination. The enhancement in average fluence rate in the lung using internal excitation was 40 × to 60 × over external illumination in the dorsal position. Parameters of the internal fiber optic source were manipulated in the model to guide optimization of the physical system and experimental protocol for internal illumination and whole-body detection of fluorescent mycobacteria in a mouse model of infection.
We present a computer model of intravital excitation and external fluorescence detection in the murine lungs validated with a three-dimensional lung tissue phantom. The model is applied to optical detection of pulmonary tuberculosis infection.