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Nat Photonics. 2009 Aug 29;3(9):503-509.

Multiscale photoacoustic microscopy and computed tomography.

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1
Optical Imaging Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis, Campus Box 1097, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130-4899.

Abstract

Photoacoustic tomography (PAT) is probably the fastest growing biomedical imaging technology owing to its capability of high-resolution sensing of rich optical contrast in vivo at depths beyond the optical transport mean free path (~1 mm in the skin). Existing high-resolution optical imaging technologies, such as confocal microscopy and two-photon microscopy, have fundamentally impacted biomedicine but cannot reach such depths. Taking advantage of low ultrasonic scattering, PAT indirectly improves tissue transparency by 100 to 1000 fold and consequently enables deeply penetrating functional and molecular imaging at high spatial resolution. Further, PAT holds the promise of in vivo imaging at multiple length scales ranging from subcellular organelles to organs with the same contrast origin, an important application in multiscale systems biology research.

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