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Published March 4, 2019 | public
Book Section - Chapter

Exponential path of photoacoustic tomography to the largest conference at Photonics West: omniscale imaging from organelles to organisms (Conference Presentation)


Photoacoustic tomography has been developed for in vivo functional, metabolic, molecular, and histologic imaging by physically combining optical and ultrasonic waves. Broad applications include early-cancer detection and brain imaging. High-resolution optical imaging—such as confocal microscopy, two-photon microscopy, and optical coherence tomography—is limited to superficial imaging within the optical diffusion limit (~1 mm in the skin) of the surface of scattering tissue. By synergistically combining light and sound, photoacoustic tomography conquers the optical diffusion limit and provides deep penetration at high ultrasonic resolution and high optical contrast. Photoacoustic tomography has two major embodiments: photoacoustic computed tomography and photoacoustic microscopy. In photoacoustic computed tomography, a pulsed broad laser beam illuminates the biological tissue to generate a small but rapid temperature rise, which leads to emission of ultrasonic waves due to thermoelastic expansion. The unscattered pulsed ultrasonic waves are then detected by ultrasonic transducers. High-resolution tomographic images of optical contrast are then formed through image reconstruction. In photoacoustic microscopy, a pulsed laser beam is delivered into the biological tissue to generate ultrasonic waves, which are then detected with a focused ultrasonic transducer to form a depth resolved 1D image. Raster scanning yields 3D high-resolution tomographic images. Super-depths beyond the optical diffusion limit have been reached with high spatial resolution. The annual conference on PAT has grown exponentially since early 2000 and become the largest in SPIE's 20,000-attendee Photonics West since 2010.

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© 2019 Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).

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