Photoacoustic tomography with a virtual point detector
We devise and explore a ring-shaped acoustic detector associated with a virtual point detector concept for photoacoustic tomography. The center of the ring transducer scans a circle around the object to be imaged and then is treated as an omni-directional virtual point detector in photoacoustic image reconstruction. The virtual point detector introduces a space-invariant point spread function in photoacoustic image reconstruction and thus improves the tangential resolution, which is due to the finite aperture. Compared with a real point detector, the virtual point detector can provide similar spatial resolution but better SNR. Compared with a real finite-aperture detector, the virtual point detector can provide similar SNR but better spatial resolution. In addition, because of its virtual feature, the virtual point detector can be placed very close to and even inside of a tissue sample to locally scan a region of interest, which yields good SNR and spatial resolution.
Additional Information© 2007 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). The authors would like to thank National Institutes of Health for the funding support through grant No. R01 CA106728 and R01 NS46214 (BRP).
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