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Detection of ultrawide-band ultrasound pulses in optoacoustic tomography.


Laser optoacoustic imaging system (LOIS) uses time-resolved detection of laser-induced pressure profiles in tissue in order to reconstruct images of the tissue based on distribution of acoustic sources. Laser illumination with short pulses generates distribution of acoustic sources that accurately replicates the distribution of absorbed optical energy. The complex spatial profile of heterogeneous distribution of acoustic sources can be represented in the frequency domain by a wide spectrum of ultrasound ranging from tens of kilohertz to tens of megahertz. Therefore, LOIS requires a unique acoustic detector operating simultaneously within a wide range of ultrasonic frequencies. Physical principles of an array of ultrawide-band ultrasonic transducers used in LOIS designed for imaging tumors in the depth of tissue are described. The performance characteristics of the transducer array were modeled and compared with experiments performed in gel phantoms resembling optical and acoustic properties of human tissue with small tumors. The amplitude and the spectrum of laser-induced ultrasound pulses were measured in order to determine the transducer sensitivity and the level of thermal noises within the entire ultrasonic band of detection. Spatial resolution of optoacoustic images obtained with an array of piezoelectric transducers and its transient directivity pattern within the field of view are described. The detector design considerations essential for obtaining high-quality optoacoustic images are presented.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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