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J Biomed Opt. 2008 Sep-Oct;13(5):054028. doi: 10.1117/1.2976141.

Fast 3-D dark-field reflection-mode photoacoustic microscopy in vivo with a 30-MHz ultrasound linear array.

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  • 1Washington University in St. Louis, Optical Imaging Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Engineering, St. Louis, Missouri 63130, USA.


We present an in vivo dark-field reflection-mode photoacoustic microscopy system that performs cross-sectional (B-scan) imaging at 50 Hz with real-time beamforming and 3-D imaging consisting of 166 B-scan frames at 1 Hz with postbeamforming. To our knowledge, this speed is currently the fastest in photoacoustic imaging. A custom-designed light delivery system is integrated with a 30-MHz ultrasound linear array to realize dark-field reflection-mode imaging. Linear mechanical scanning of the array produces 3-D images. The system has axial, lateral, and elevational resolutions of 25, 70, and 200 microm, respectively, and can image 3 mm deep in scattering biological tissues. Volumetric images of subcutaneous vasculature in rats are demonstrated in vivo. Fast 3-D photoacoustic microscopy is anticipated to facilitate applications of photoacoustic imaging in biomedical studies that involve dynamics and clinical procedures that demand immediate diagnosis.

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