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J Acoust Soc Am. 2007 Jun;121(6):3453-64.

k-space propagation models for acoustically heterogeneous media: application to biomedical photoacoustics.

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  • 1Department of Medical Physics and Bioengineering, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom.


Biomedical applications of photoacoustics, in particular photoacoustic tomography, require efficient models of photoacoustic propagation that can incorporate realistic properties of soft tissue, such as acoustic inhomogeneities both for purposes of simulation and for use in model-based image reconstruction methods. k-space methods are well suited to modeling high-frequency acoustics applications as they require fewer mesh points per wavelength than conventional finite element and finite difference models, and larger time steps can be taken without a loss of stability or accuracy. They are also straightforward to encode numerically, making them appealing as a general tool. The rationale behind k-space methods and the k-space approach to the numerical modeling of photoacoustic waves in fluids are covered in this paper. Three existing k-space models are applied to photoacoustics and demonstrated with examples: an exact model for homogeneous media, a second-order model that can take into account heterogeneous media, and a first-order model that can incorporate absorbing boundary conditions.

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