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Published October 2, 2006 | Published
Journal Article Open

In vivo volumetric imaging of subcutaneous microvasculature by photoacoustic microscopy


Photoacoustic microscopy was developed to achieve volumetric imaging of the anatomy and functions of the subcutaneous microvasculature in both small animals and humans in vivo with high spatial resolution and high signal-to-background ratio. By following the skin contour in raster scanning, the ultrasonic transducer maintains focusing in the region of interest. Furthermore, off-focus lateral resolution is improved by using a synthetic-aperture focusing technique based on the virtual point detector concept. Structural images are acquired in both rats and humans, whereas functional images representing hemoglobin oxygen saturation are acquired in rats. After multiscale vesselness filtering, arterioles and venules in the image are separated based on the imaged oxygen saturation levels. Detailed structural information, such as vessel depth and spatial orientation, are revealed by volume rendering.

Additional Information

© 2006 Optical Society of America. Received 20 June 2006; revised 14 August 2006; accepted 14 August 2006. We thank Dr. Geng Ku, Dr. Ovidiu Craciun, and Gina Lungu for experimental assistance. We also gratefully acknowledge the help of Dr. Yangqiu Hu in image processing. This project is sponsored by National Institutes of Health grants R01 EB000712 and R01 NS46214.

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