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Med Phys. 2009 Sep;36(9):4084-8.

On the speckle-free nature of photoacoustic tomography.

Author information

1
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Optical Imaging Laboratory, Washington University, 1 Brookings Drive, Saint Louis, Missouri 63130, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

A long-standing conundrum is why photoacoustic tomography (PAT) possesses the unique ability to produce images devoid of speckle artifacts while all other coherent imaging technologies do not.

METHODS:

In this paper, we explain the inherent mechanism that suppresses speckle in PAT, and the analysis was validated by simulations based on an experimental PAT system.

RESULTS:

We found that the speckle-free feature of PAT results directly from the optical absorption contrast.

CONCLUSIONS:

All optical absorbers expand on laser excitation, and therefore all initial photoacoustic pressure rises are positive, which engenders strong correlations among the photoacoustic waves from the absorbers. As a result, prominent boundaries always build up in photoacoustic images and suppress the interior speckle.

PMID:
19810480
PMCID:
PMC2738745
DOI:
10.1118/1.3187231
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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