In vivo rat deep brain imaging using photoacoustic computed tomography
The brain has been likened to a great stretch of unknown territory consisting of a number of unexplored continents. Small animal brain imaging plays an important role charting that territory. By using 1064 nm illumination from the side, we imaged the full coronal depth of rat brains in vivo. The experiment was performed using a real-time full-ring-array photoacoustic computed tomography (PACT) imaging system, which achieved an imaging depth of 11 mm and a 100 μm radial resolution. Because of the fast imaging speed of the full-ring-array PACT system, no animal motion artifact was induced. The frame rate of the system was limited by the laser repetition rate (50 Hz). In addition to anatomical imaging of the blood vessels in the brain, we continuously monitored correlations between the two brain hemispheres in one of the coronal planes. The resting states in the coronal plane were measured before and after stroke ligation surgery at a neck artery.