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Published May 2000 | Published
Journal Article Open

Scanning thermoacoustic tomography in biological tissue


Microwave-induced thermoacoustic tomography was explored to image biological tissue. Short microwave pulses irradiated tissue to generate acoustic waves by thermoelastic expansion. The microwave-induced thermoacoustic waves were detected with a focused ultrasonic transducer. Each time-domain signal from the ultrasonic transducer represented a one-dimensional image along the acoustic axis of the ultrasonic transducer similar to an ultrasonic A-scan. Scanning the system perpendicularly to the acoustic axis of the ultrasonic transducer would generate multi-dimensional images. Two-dimensional tomographic images of biological tissue were obtained with 3-GHz microwaves. The axial and lateral resolutions were characterized. The time-domain piezo-electric signal from the ultrasonic transducer in response to the thermoacoustic signal was simulated theoretically, and the theoretical result agreed with the experimental result very well.

Additional Information

© 2000 American Association of Physicists in Medicine. Received 5 August 1999; accepted for publication 2 March 2000. Thanks to X. Zhao and G. Yao for their assistance in electronics and computer programming, respectively. This project was sponsored in part by the National Institutes of Health Grants Nos. R29 CA68562, R01 CA71980, and R21 CA83760 and by the National Science Foundation Grant no. BES-9734491.

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