Photoacoustic microscopy and computed tomography
The field of photoacoustic tomography has experienced considerable growth in the past few years. Although several commercially available pure optical imaging modalities, including confocal microscopy, two-photon microscopy, and optical coherence tomography, have been highly successful, none of these technologies can provide penetration beyond ~1 mm into scattering biological tissues because they are based on ballistic and quasi-ballistic photons. Heretofore, there has been a void in high-resolution optical imaging beyond this depth limit. Photoacoustic tomography, which combines high ultrasonic resolution and strong optical contrast in a single modality, has filled this void. In this tutorial, the fundamentals of photoacoustics are first introduced. Then, scanning photoacoustic microscopy and reconstruction-based photoacoustic tomography (or photoacoustic computed tomography) are covered.