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Published March 2009 | Published
Journal Article Open

Automatic algorithm for skin profile detection in photoacoustic microscopy


We have developed an automatic algorithm to detect the skin profiles in the volumetric data acquired by photoacoustic microscopy for subcutaneous vasculature imaging. This algorithm analyzes the relationship between amplitudes of photoacoustic signals generated from the skin surface and underlying blood vessels to achieve a rough estimation of the skin profile. A better approximation of the skin profile is then acquired after nonparametric smoothing and Gaussian low-pass spatial filtering. An auto-fit scan mechanism is further developed based on the detected skin profile to achieve good ultrasonic focusing on the subcutaneous vessel layer when the skin contour variation is much larger than the ultrasonic focal zone. The importance of skin profile detection in calculating the maximum-amplitude-projection images and significantly improving the image quality by employing the auto-fit scan are demonstrated by in vivo experimental results.

Additional Information

© 2009 SPIE. Paper 08168R received May 20, 2008; revised manuscript received Oct. 6, 2008; accepted for publication Feb. 9, 2009; published online Apr. 17, 2009. This project is sponsored by National Institutes of Health grants R01 EB000712 and R01 NS46214 to L. V. Wang. We thank Dr. George Stoica and Dr. Meng-lin Li for their help in animal experiments. We also thank Mrs. Michelle Schoenecker for proofreading the manuscript.

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