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Med Phys. 2009 Jun;36(6):2320-3.

In vivo functional chronic imaging of a small animal model using optical-resolution photoacoustic microscopy.


Optical-resolution photoacoustic microscopy (OR-PAM) has been validated as a valuable tool for label-free volumetric microvascular imaging. More importantly, the advantages of noninvasiveness and measurement consistency suggest the use of OR-PAM for chronic imaging of intact microcirculation. Here, such chronic imaging is demonstrated for the first time by monitoring the healing process of laser-induced microvascular lesions in a small animal model in vivo. The central part of a 1 mm by 1 mm region in a nude mouse ear was treated under a continuous-wave laser to create a microvascular lesion for chronic study. The region of interest was imaged before the laser treatment, immediately after the treatment, and throughout the healing process using both the authors' OR-PAM system and a commercial transmission-mode optical microscope. Three-dimensional microvascular morphology and blood oxygenation information were imaged simultaneously at capillary-level resolution. Transmission-mode optical microscopic images were acquired for comparison. OR-PAM has potential important applications in microcirculatory physiology or pathophysiology, tumor angiogenesis, laser microsurgery, and neuroscience.

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