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Opt Express. 2007 Mar 19;15(6):3291-300.

Reflection mode photoacoustic measurement of speed of sound.


We present a method to determine the speed of sound in tissue using a double-ring photoacoustic sensor working in reflection mode. This method uses the cross-correlation between the laser-induced ultrasound waves detected by two concentric ring shaped sensors, while a priori information about the depth-position of the photoacoustic source is not required. We demonstrate the concept by estimating the speed of sound in water as a function of temperature. Comparison of the estimated speed with values reported in literature shows an average systematic error of 0.1% and a standard deviation of 0.1%. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the method can be applied to layered media. The method has application in the correction of photoacoustic and ultrasound images afflicted by local speed variations in tissue. Additionally, the concept shows promise in monitoring temperature changes which are reflected in speed of sound changes in tissue.

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