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Published July 2011 | Published
Journal Article Open

Photoacoustic tomography of monkey brain using virtual point ultrasonic transducers


A photoacoustic tomography system (PAT) using virtual point ultrasonic transducers was developed and applied to image a monkey brain. The custom-built transducers provide a 10-fold greater field-of-view (FOV) than finite-aperture unfocused transducers as well as an improved signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and reduced artifacts rather than negative-lens transducers. Their tangential resolution, radial resolution, and (SNR) improvements were quantified using tissue phantoms. Our PAT system can achieve high uniformity in both resolution (<1 mm) and SNR (>8) within a large FOV of 6 cm in diameter, even when the imaging objects are enclosed by a monkey skull. The cerebral cortex of a monkey brain was accurately mapped transcranially, through a skull ranging from 2 to 4 mm in thickness. This study demonstrates that PAT can overcome the optical and ultrasound attenuation of a relatively thick skull and can potentially be applied to human neonatal brain imaging.

Additional Information

© 2011 SPIE. Paper 10674RR received Dec. 22, 2010; revised manuscript received Apr. 8, 2011; accepted for publication May 9, 2011; published online Jul. 1, 2011. The authors appreciate Mr. James Ballard's close reading of the manuscript, and Dr. Manojit Pramanik and Dr. Changhui Li's helpful discussions. This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (Grant Nos. R01 EB010049, R01 CA134539, R01 EB000712, U54 CA136398, and R01 EB008085). L.V.W. has a financial interest inMicrophotoacoustics, Inc. and Endra, Inc., which, however, did not support this work.

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