Small-animal whole-body imaging using a photoacoustic full-ring array system
In this report, we present a novel 3D photoacoustic computed tomography (PACT) system for small-animal whole-body imaging. The PACT system, based on a 512-element full-ring transducer array, received photoacoustic signals primarily from a 2-mm-thick slice. The light was generated by a pulse laser, and can either illuminate from the top or be reshaped to illuminate the sample from the side, using a conical lens and an optical condenser. The PACT system was capable of acquiring an in-plane image in 1.6 s; by scanning the sample in the elevational direction, a 3D tomographic image could be constructed. We tested the system by imaging a cylindrical phantom made of human hairs immersed in a scattering medium. The reconstructed image achieved an in-plane resolution of 0.1 mm and an elevational resolution of 1 mm. After deconvolution in the elevational direction, the 3D image was found to match well with the phantom. The system was also used to image a baby mouse in situ; the spinal cord and ribs can be seen easily in the reconstructed image. Our results demonstrate that the PACT system has the potential to be used for fast small-animal whole-body tomographic imaging.
Additional Information© 2011 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). This work was sponsored in part by National Institutes of Health grants R01 EB000712, R01 EB008085, R01 CA134539, U54 CA136398, R01 EB010049, and 5P60 DK02057933. L.W. has a financial interest in Microphotoacoustics, Inc. and Endra, Inc., which, however, did not support this work.
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