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Published March 2009 | Published
Journal Article Open

Tangential resolution improvement in thermoacoustic and photoacoustic tomography using a negative acoustic lens


We developed a novel concept of using a negative acoustic lens to increase the acceptance angle of an unfocused large-area ultrasonic transducer (detector), leading to more than twofold improvement of the tangential resolution in both thermoacoustic and photoacoustic tomography. In both thermoacoustic and photoacoustic tomography, for a given transducer bandwidth, the aperture size of the detector affects the tangential resolution greatly when the object of interest is near the detector surface. We were able to overcome such tangential resolution deterioration by attaching an acoustic concave lens, made of acrylic in front of the flat detector surface. We then quantified the tangential resolution improvement using phantom images. We also showed that the use of the negative lens preserves the shape of an object after the image is reconstructed.

Additional Information

© 2009 SPIE. Paper 08354R received Oct. 5, 2008; revised manuscript received Feb. 1, 2009; accepted for publication Feb. 3, 2009; published online Mar. 30, 2009. This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grant Nos. R01 EB000712 and R01 NS046214. L.W. has a financial interest in Endra, Inc., which however did not support this work. We would also like to thank Dr. Changhui Li for his assistance with the accurate reconstruction algorithm used for TAT and PAT image reconstruction.

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