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J Biomed Opt. 2007 Jan-Feb;12(1):010501.

Photoacoustic imaging of the microvasculature with a high-frequency ultrasound array transducer.

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Washington University, Optical Imaging Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Saint Louis, Missouri 63130, USA.


Visualization of microvascular networks could provide new information about function and disease. We demonstrate the capabilities of a 30-MHz ultrasound array system for photoacoustic microscopy of small (< or = 300 microm) vessels in a rat. 3D images obtained by translating the array in the elevation direction are compared with photographs of excised skin. The system is shown to have 100-microm lateral resolution, 25-microm axial resolution, and 3-mm imaging depth. To our knowledge this is the first report on photoacoustic microscopy of the microvasculature with a high-frequency array transducer. It is anticipated that the system can be used for studying and diagnosing a number of diseases including cancer, atherosclerosis, dermatological disorders, and peripheral microvascular complications in diabetes.

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