Mathematical modeling of the optimum pulse structure for safe and effective photo epilation using broadband pulsed light

Caerwyn Ash, Kelvin Donne, Gwenaelle Daniel, Godfrey Town, Marc Clement, Ronan Valentine

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    The objective of this work is the investigation of intense pulsed light (IPL) photo-epilation using Monte Carlo simulation to model the effect of the output dosimetry with millisecond exposure used by typical commercial IPL systems. The temporal pulse shape is an important parameter, which may affect the biological tissue response in terms of efficacy and adverse reactions. This study investigates the effect that IPL pulse structures, namely free discharge, square pulse, close, and spaced pulse stacking, has on hair removal. The relationship between radiant exposure distribution during the IPL pulse and chromophore heating is explored and modeled for hair follicles and the epidermis using a custom Monte Carlo computer simulation. Consistent square pulse and close pulse stacking delivery of radiant exposure across the IPL pulse is shown to generate the most efficient specific heating of the target chromophore, whilst sparing the epidermis, compared to free discharge and pulse stacking pulse delivery. Free discharge systems produced the highest epidermal temperature in the model. This study presents modeled thermal data of a hair follicle in situ, indicating that square pulse IPL technology may be the most efficient and the safest method for photoepilation. The investigation also suggests that the square pulse system design is the most efficient, as energy is not wasted during pulse exposure or lost through interpulse delay times of stacked pulses.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)290-299
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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