Computational modelling of optoelectronic medical devices

Since 2008 the group has been working on collaborative research projects with locally-based international companies, in particular Cyden Ltd and Energist Ltd.  Since 2008, the appointment of a Senior Research Fellow, Dr Ala Al-Hussany, has significantly improved the speed of development of the transient BEM algorithm, using the Dual Reciprocity extension, with particular emphasis on the choice of radial basis function.  The work has been further enhanced by a succession of three PhD students and the use of High Performance Computing Wales facilities in the development of a MPI-based parallel version of the models.

This research  is focussed on the interaction of low energy photons with human tissue. Typical light sources are lasers and broad-band flashlamps. The medical devices are concerned with hair epilation, skin rejuvenation and fluorescence diagnostic techniques for Basal Cell Carcinoma.  

Over the last twenty years, the group has developed two computational models that each considers the radiative transport problem and the consequent photo-thermal and photo-chemical processes in the tissue that result from the incident radiation. The first model is a 3D time-dependent Monte Carlo based approach on an unstructured mesh. The second model employs a 3D time-dependent Boundary Element Method approach, again using an unstructured mesh.   The computational models are critical in assisting medical device companies that wish to apply their technology to markets with darker skin tones. The model is particularly useful for identifying the optimal temporal profile and spectral content of the applied light energy. 

The Computational Modelling Group undertakes two distinct types of collaborative work: 1) Industrial standard multiphysics applications for stress and fatigue predictions. This approach is employed on windscreen damage research for Belron PLC, the world’s largest vehicle glass repair and replacement company, as well as SME’s in the OEM supply chain in order to improve their components. 2) Collaborative work undertaken is based on the in-house developed modelling codes for simulating light-tissue interaction. The beneficiaries are locally based medical device companies that design, develop and manufacture light-based products for home use. See, for example, This work has led to the Group’s collaboration with Swansea University’s Institute of Life Sciences.

Examples of our support for industry include:

  • Oceaneering Ltd: Evaluation of electromagnetic acoustic transducer pipe corrosion inspection system: leading to £30k investment at company and one new NDT service launched.
  • Silverwing Ltd: Finite Element investigation into new Magnetic Leakage Inspection tools: leading to 2 jobs created, 1 product launched.
  • Knauf Insulation Ltd: Conveyer belt weld inspection method and evaluation: leading to  £97k investment and 1 new process launched.
  • TWI Ltd: Development of a real-time full matrix capture ultrasonic system. This project has implemented G.P.U. acceleration to produce a real-time data acquisition system for the 128-transducer probe used in the FMC system. In addition, novel algorithms, using a modified Kirchhoff migration method and the Synthetic Aperture Focussing Technique, have extend the applicability of the system to  enable inspection of components with irregular boundaries. The benefit to TWI is the design and validation of a new marketable inspection system that has improved resolution and shortened inspection times compared to competitor products.
  • ERDF
  • Welsh Government   
  • Consultancy Income

The strength of the Unit is in its combined approach to design and engineering which responds to a peculiarity of the Welsh manufacturing sector, which is characterised by the design-led requirements of OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers), who are often small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Typically, these companies are part of a larger supply chain, particularly in the automotive manufacturing sector, where some 20,000 employees in the South Wales corridor supply international OEMs such as Nissan, Ford, GM and Jaguar Land-Rover.

Donne K E & Marotin A  “A Three Dimensional Time-Dependent Boundary Element Method For Modelling Light-Based Cancer Therapies”. International Journal of Engineering Simulation, 2008, Volume 9 , Number 3

Al-Hussany and Kelvin E. Donne:“From Nano-Cavities to Nano-Bullets: An investigation of the influence of polyethylene glycol (PEG6000) on the destructive power of cavities and its implications in  non-invasive cancer treatment”, under consideration for publishing in Physics in medicine & Biology 2013.

Kelvin E. Donne, Arnaud Marotin and Ala Al-Hussany:” Dual Reciprocity Boundary Element Modelling of Collimated Light Fluence Distribution n Normal and Cancerous Prostate Tissue during Photodynamic Therapy, BIOMED, April 2013 Budapest, Hungary . Published in Modelling in Medicine and Biology X, WIT Transactions on Biology and Health, Volume 17, WIT Press, 2013.

Kelvin E. Donne, Arnaud Marotin and Ala Al-Hussany:” Modified Dual Reciprocity Boundary Element Modelling of Collimated Light Fluence Distribution in Normal and Cancerous Prostate Tissue during Photodynamic Therapy”, 34th International Conference on Boundary Elements and other Mesh Reduction Methods, Split, Croatia, 2012.

Kelvin E. Donne, Arnaud Marotin, Ala Al-Hussany and Gwenaelle M. Daniel: “Modified Boundary Element to Model Radiative Transport in  Biological Turbid Medium” International Journal of Engineering simulation, IJES 10th Anniversary Issue 2011.

E.A. Brujan a, A.F.H. Al-Hussany, R.L. Williams, P.R. Williams, “Cavitation erosion in polymer aqueous solutions”, Wear 264 (2008) 1035-1042.

Sutcliffe M, Weston M,  Cooper I,  Charlton P ,  Donne K, Wright  B: ” Full matrix capture with time efficient auto-focusing of unknown geometry through dual-layered media”, Insight (British Journal of NDT), Vol 55, No 6 , June 2013,

Caerwyn Ash, Kelvin Donne, Gwenaelle Daniel, Godfrey Town, Marc Clement, Ronan Valentine Mathematical modeling of the optimum pulse structure for safe and effective photo epilation using broadband pulsed light.  Journal Of Applied Clinical Medical Physics, Volume 13, Number5, 2012

Kelvin Donne  Photoelastic stress and thermographic measurements of automotive windscreen defects generated by projectile impact. Quality and Reliability Engineering International Vol 24, Number 8. 2008