Radiative-thermal models of light transport in tissue are presented that stimulates the thermal effects of pulsed laser radiation on very thin scattering and absorbing biological layers. Thermal therapies require a firm understanding of temperature-depth relationship for tissue modification or destruction, especially through very thin layers that are characterized by contrasting opto-thermal properties. Temperature distribution in biological layers of thicknesses in the order of their mean free path or less are evaluated before the onset of thermal diffusion for both the traditional model of Monte Carlo simulation and that with new features tailored for very thin layers. Temperature dynamics in very thin layers such as skin in dermatology is a typical example. For instance, during the heating of small volumes of tissue as in fractional photothermolysis, nonablative dermal remodeling and ablative skin resurfacing, short pulse lasers are used by choosing pulse length sufficiently short that will not damage the surrounding healthy tissue, but sufficiently long enough to allow damage, necrosis or coagulation over the entire target area. This is in contrast to the situation where thermal dissipation due to heat conduction is the principal determinant of tissue damage. Numerical results obtained from both models differ significantly. While the model designed specifically for very thin scattering layers tends to confine temperature rise to specific layers, the traditional model have a tendency to misjudge the layers of interest thereby giving rise to temperature increase in undesired locations. These results will advance our understanding of radiation transport in layers that are extremely very thin, and help develop better treatment modules for laser therapeutic treatment regimes in surgery and dermatology.

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