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Published March 3, 2014 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

A handheld optical fiber parallel acoustic delay line (PADL) probe for photoacoustic tomography


In current photoacoustic tomography (PAT), l-D or 2-D ultrasound arrays and multi-channel data acquisition (DAQ) electronics are used to detect the photoacoustic signals simultaneously for "real-time" image construction. However, as the number of transducer elements and DAQ channels increase, the construction and operation of the ultrasound receiving system will become complex and costly. This situation can be addressed by using parallel acoustic delay lines (PADLs) to create true time delays in multiple PA signal channels. The time-delayed PA signals will reach the ultrasound transducer at different times and therefore can be received by one single-element transducer without mixing with each other. In this paper, we report the development of the first miniaturized PADL probe suitable for handheld operations. Fusedsilica optical fibers with low acoustic attenuation were used to construct the 16 PADLs with specific time delays. The handheld probe structure was fabricated using precision laser-micromachining process to provide robust mechanical support and accurate alignment of the PADLs with minimal acoustic distortion and inter-channel coupling. The 16 optical-fiber PADLs were arranged to form one input port and two output ports. Photoacoustic imaging of a black-ink target embedded in an optically-scattering phantom was successfully conducted using the handheld PADL probe with two single-element transducers and two DAQ channels (equal to a channel reduction ratio of 8:1). Our results show that the PADL technique and the handheld probe could provide a promising solution for real-time PAT with significantly reduced complexity and cost of the ultrasound receiver system.

Additional Information

© 2014 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. This work was supported in part by a grant (CMMI-1131758) from the National Science Foundation to J.Z, a grant (U54-CA136398) from the National Institutes of Health to L.V. W, and by MSIP (Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning), Korea, under the "IT Consilience Creative Program" (NIPA-2013-H0203-13-1001) supervised by the NIPA (National IT Industry Promotion Agency) and NRF grant of Korea government (MSIP) (2011-0030075) to C.K.

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