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Published 2004 | Published
Journal Article Open

Ultrasound-Mediated Biophotonic Imaging: A Review of Acousto-Optical Tomography and Photo-Acoustic Tomography


This article reviews two types of ultrasound-mediated biophotonic imaging–acousto-optical tomography (AOT, also called ultrasound-modulated optical tomography) and photo-acoustic tomography (PAT, also called opto-acoustic or thermo-acoustic tomography)–both of which are based on non-ionizing optical and ultrasonic waves. The goal of these technologies is to combine the contrast advantage of the optical properties and the resolution advantage of ultrasound. In these two technologies, the imaging contrast is based primarily on the optical properties of biological tissues, and the imaging resolution is based primarily on the ultrasonic waves that either are provided externally or produced internally, within the biological tissues. In fact, ultrasonic mediation overcomes both the resolution disadvantage of pure optical imaging in thick tissues and the contrast and speckle disadvantages of pure ultrasonic imaging. In our discussion of AOT, the relationship between modulation depth and acoustic amplitude is clarified. Potential clinical applications of ultrasound-mediated biophotonic imaging include early cancer detection, functional imaging, and molecular imaging.

Additional Information

© 2004 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Received 13 April 2004; Accepted 13 April 2004. The author acknowledges the contributions from his many talented group members and collaborators as indicated by the cited references. The author also is grateful to the organizers of this special issue at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for inviting his participation. The research reported here has been sponsored in part by NIH Grant No. R29 CA68562, No. R01 CA71980, No. R21 CA83760, and No. R01 EB000712; the National Science Foundation Grant No. BES-9734491; the US. Army Medical Research and Material Command Grant No. DAMD 17-00-1-0455; and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Grant No. ARP 000512-0123-1999 and No. 000512-0063-2001.

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