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Published January 2008 | Published
Journal Article Open

Tutorial on Photoacoustic Microscopy and Computed Tomography


The field of photoacoustic tomography has experienced considerable growth in the past few years. Although several commercially available pure optical imaging modalities, including confocal microscopy, two-photon microscopy, and optical coherence tomography, have been highly successful, none of these technologies can provide penetration beyond ~1 mm into scattering biological tissues, because they are based on ballistic and quasi-ballistic photons. Heretofore, there has been a void in high-resolution optical imaging beyond this penetration limit. Photoacoustic tomography, which combines high ultrasonic resolution and strong optical contrast in a single modality, has broken through this limitation and filled this void. In this paper, the fundamentals of photoacoustics are first introduced. Then, scanning photoacoustic microscopy and reconstruction-based photoacoustic tomography (or photoacoustic computed tomography) are covered.

Additional Information

© 2008 IEEE. Manuscript received September 10, 2007; revised November 12, 2007. This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health under Grant R01 EB000712 and Grant R01 NS46214.

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