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Computer Science Researchers Help Answer Age-Old Medical Science Question

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Why do veins containing red blood appear blue?

University of Waterloo researchers used computer models to clarify how veins containing red blood get their bluish appearance.


Researchers at the University of Waterloo in Canada used computer models that simulate organic structures to define how light interacts with the cellular and subcellular parts of the skin and blood to clarify how veins containing red blood get their bluish appearance.

This process of simulating how materials absorb and propagate light is known as "appearance modeling," and can be applied to all objects, says Waterloo's Gladimir Baranoski.

The team used this method to identify structures in the skin that scatter light, and to determine how the scattering works.

The research involved using two sophisticated modeling tools: Hyperspectral Light Impingement on Skin, which simulates the interaction of light with skin; and Cell-Based Light Interaction Model for Human Blood, which models how light is absorbed and propagated by blood flowing in the veins.

Both tools utilize computational algorithms known as the Monte Carlo method, which relies on repeated random sampling to obtain results.

From University of Waterloo News
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