Deep penetrating photoacoustic tomography in biological tissues
Photoacoustic tomography (PAT) in a circular scanning configuration was developed to image the deeply embedded optical heterogeneity in biological tissues. Based on the intrinsic contrast between blood and chicken breast muscle, an embedded blood object that was 5 cm deep in the tissue was detected using pulsed laser light at a wavelength of 1064 nm. Compared with detectors for flat active surfaces, cylindrically focused ultrasonic transducers can reduce the interference generated from the off-plane photoacoustic sources and make the image in the scanning plane clearer. While the optical penetration was optimized with near-infrared laser pulses of 800 nm in wavelength, the optical contrast was enhanced by indocyanine green (ICG) whose absorption peak matched the laser wavelength. This optimized PAT was able to image fine objects embedded at a depth of up to 5.2-cm, which is 6.2 times the 1/e optical penetration depth, in chicken breast muscle, at a resolution of < ~750 microns with a sensitivity of <7 pmol of ICG in blood. The resolution was found to deteriorate slowly with increasing imaging depth.
Additional Information© 2005 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). We thank M. Sivaramakrishnan and K. Song for lab assistance. This study is sponsored in part by the National Institute of Health grants R01 EB000712 and R01 NS46214 and the Texas ARP grant 000512-0063-2001.
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