Laser-induced photoacoustic tomography for small animals
Photoacoustic tomography, also called opto-acoustic tomography when laser excitation is used, is a novel medical imaging modality that combines the merits of both light and ultrasound. Here, we present our study of laser-induced photoacoustic tomography of organs of small animals. Pulses of 6.5 ns in width from an Nd:YAG laser at 532 nm or 1064 nm are employed to generate the distribution of thermoelastic expansion in the sample. A wide-band ultrasonic transducer that is non-focused in the imaging plane scans around the sample to realize a full-view detection of the imaged cross-section. A modified back-projection algorithm is applied to reconstruct the distribution of optical absorption inside the biological sample. Using optical energy depositions that fall below safe levels, tissue structures in ex-vivo rat kidneys and in-situ mouse brains covered by the skin and skull are imaged successfully with the high intrinsic optical contrast and the high spatial resolution of ultrasound.
Additional Information© 2003 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). We thank G. Ku for experimental assistance. The research was supported in part by DOD, NIH, NSF, and Texas ARP.
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