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J Biomed Opt. 2010 Mar-Apr;15(2):021307. doi: 10.1117/1.3333547.

Photoacoustic microtomography using optical interferometric detection.

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  • 1Karl-Franzens-University of Graz, Department of Physics, Universitatsplatz 5, Graz, 8010 Austria.


A device for three-dimensional (3-D) photoacoustic tomography with resolution in the range of tens of micrometers is presented that uses a light beam for interferometric detection of acoustic waves. Reconstruction of the 3-D initial pressure distribution from the signals representing line integrals of the acoustic field is a two-step process. It uses an inversion of 2-D wave propagation to obtain line projections of the initial pressure distribution and the inverse Radon transform. The light beam, propagating freely in a water bath, is scanned either in an arc- or box-shaped curve around the object. Simulations are performed to compare the two scanning procedures. The projection images are obtained either using the filtered back projection algorithm for the pi-arc scanning mode or the frequency domain algorithm for the box scanning mode. While the former algorithm provides slightly better image quality, the latter is about 20 times faster. The ability of the photoacoustic tomography device to create 3-D images with constant resolution throughout the reconstruction volume is demonstrated experimentally using a human hair phantom. These measurements revealed a 3-D resolution below 100 mum. In a second experiment, 3-D imaging of an isolated mouse heart is demonstrated to show the applicability for preclinical and biological research.

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