Photoacoustic Tomography: Ultrasonically Beating Optical Diffusion and Diffraction
Photoacoustic tomography (PAT), combining optical and ultrasonic waves via the photoacoustic effect, provides in vivo functional, metabolic, molecular, and histologic imaging. PAT has the unique strength of high-resolution imaging across the length scales of organelles, cells, tissues, organs, and small-animal organisms with consistent contrast. PAT has the potential to empower holistic omniscale biology research and accelerate translation from microscopic laboratory discoveries to macroscopic clinical practice. Broad applications include imaging of the breast, brain, skin, esophagus, colon, vascular system, and lymphatic system in both animals and humans.