Three-dimensional Optical-resolution Photoacoustic Microscopy
Optical microscopy, providing valuable insights at the cellular and organelle levels, has been widely recognized as an enabling biomedical technology. As the mainstays of in vivo three-dimensional (3-D) optical microscopy, single-/multi-photon fluorescence microscopy and optical coherence tomography (OCT) have demonstrated their extraordinary sensitivities to fluorescence and optical scattering contrasts, respectively. However, the optical absorption contrast of biological tissues, which encodes essential physiological/pathological information, has not yet been assessable. The emergence of biomedical photoacoustics has led to a new branch of optical microscopy optical-resolution photoacoustic microscopy (OR-PAM), where the optical irradiation is focused to the diffraction limit to achieve cellular1 or even subcellular level lateral resolution. As a valuable complement to existing optical microscopy technologies, OR-PAM brings in at least two novelties. First and most importantly, OR-PAM detects optical absorption contrasts with extraordinary sensitivity (i.e., 100%). Combining OR-PAM with fluorescence microscopy or with optical-scattering-based OCT (or with both) provides comprehensive optical properties of biological tissues. Second, OR-PAM encodes optical absorption into acoustic waves, in contrast to the pure optical processes in fluorescence microscopy and OCT, and provides background-free detection. The acoustic detection in OR-PAM mitigates the impacts of optical scattering on signal degradation and naturally eliminates possible interferences (i.e., crosstalks) between excitation and detection, which is a common problem in fluorescence microscopy due to the overlap between the excitation and fluorescence spectra. Unique for optical absorption imaging, OR-PAM has demonstrated broad biomedical applications since its invention, including, but not limited to, neurology, ophthalmology, vascular biology, and dermatology. In this video, we teach the system configuration and alignment of OR-PAM as well as the experimental procedures for in vivo functional microvascular imaging.
Additional Information© 2011 JoVE. The authors appreciate Dr. Lynnea Brumbaugh's close reading of the manuscript. This work was sponsored by National Institutes of Health Grants R01 EB000712, R01 EB008085, R01 CA134539, U54 CA136398, and 5P60 DK02057933. Prof. Lihong V. Wang has a financial interest in Microphotoacoustics, Inc. and Endra, Inc., which, however, did not support this work.