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Published September 2009 | Accepted Version
Journal Article Open

Multiscale photoacoustic microscopy and computed tomography


Photoacoustic tomography (PAT) is probably the fastest-growing area of biomedical imaging technology, owing to its capacity for high-resolution sensing of rich optical contrast in vivo at depths beyond the optical transport mean free path (~1 mm in human skin). Existing high-resolution optical imaging technologies, such as confocal microscopy and two-photon microscopy, have had a fundamental impact on biomedicine but cannot reach the penetration depths of PAT. By utilizing low ultrasonic scattering, PAT indirectly improves tissue transparency up to 1000-fold and consequently enables deeply penetrating functional and molecular imaging at high spatial resolution. Furthermore, PAT promises in vivo imaging at multiple length-scales; it can image subcellular organelles to organs with the same contrast origin — an important application in multiscale systems biology research.

Additional Information

© 2009 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Published online: 28 August 2009. The author acknowledges the support by the National Institutes of Health Grants R01 EB000712, R01 NS046214, R01 EB008085 and U54 CA136398. Thanks to Song Hu for providing Fig. 1d. The author declares competing financial interests: The author has a competing financial interest in Microphotoacoustics, Inc. and Endra, Inc., which however did not support this work.

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