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Published January 3, 2023 | Supplemental Material + Published
Journal Article Open

Non-invasive photoacoustic computed tomography of rat heart anatomy and function


Complementary to mainstream cardiac imaging modalities for preclinical research, photoacoustic computed tomography (PACT) can provide functional optical contrast with high imaging speed and resolution. However, PACT has not been demonstrated to reveal the dynamics of whole cardiac anatomy or vascular system without surgical procedure (thoracotomy) for tissue penetration. Here, we achieved non-invasive imaging of rat hearts using the recently developed three-dimensional PACT (3D-PACT) platform, demonstrating the regulated illumination and detection schemes to reduce the effects of optical attenuation and acoustic distortion through the chest wall; thereby, enabling unimpeded visualization of the cardiac anatomy and intracardiac hemodynamics following rapidly scanning the heart within 10 s. We further applied 3D-PACT to reveal distinct cardiac structural and functional changes among the healthy, hypertensive, and obese rats, with optical contrast to uncover differences in cardiac chamber size, wall thickness, and hemodynamics. Accordingly, 3D-PACT provides high imaging speed and nonionizing penetration to capture the whole heart for diagnosing the animal models, holding promises for clinical translation to cardiac imaging of human neonates.

Additional Information

© 2023 The Author(s). This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. This work was sponsored by the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants R35 CA220436 (Outstanding Investigator Award) and U01 NS099717 (BRAIN Initiative). These authors contributed equally: Li Lin, Xin Tong. Contributions. L.V.W. and L.L. conceived and designed the study. L.L. constructed the hardware system. S.N. and L.L. developed the control program. Y.Z. and R.C. modified the control program for ECG synchronization. L.L. and X.T. performed the experiments. L.L., X.T., and Y.Z. analyzed the data. L.V.W., T.K.H., and S.C. supervised the study. All authors wrote the manuscript. Data availability. All data are available within the Article and Supplementary Files, or available from the authors upon request. Conflict of interest. All the authors declare no competing interests. L.V.W. has a financial interest in Microphotoacoustics, Inc., CalPACT, LLC, and Union Photoacoustic Technologies, Ltd., which, however, did not support this work.

Attached Files

Published - 41377_2022_Article_1053.pdf

Supplemental Material - 41377_2022_1053_MOESM1_ESM.docx

Supplemental Material - 41377_2022_1053_MOESM2_ESM.avi

Supplemental Material - 41377_2022_1053_MOESM3_ESM.avi

Supplemental Material - 41377_2022_1053_MOESM4_ESM.avi


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August 22, 2023
October 25, 2023