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J Biomed Opt. 2011 Jan-Feb;16(1):011014. doi: 10.1117/1.3525643.

Fiber-laser-based photoacoustic microscopy and melanoma cell detection.

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Washington University in St. Louis, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Campus Box 1097, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, Missouri 63130-4899, USA.


For broad applications in biomedical research involving functional dynamics and clinical studies, a photoacoustic microscopy system should be compact, stable, and fast. In this work, we use a fiber laser as the photoacoustic irradiation source to meet these goals. The laser system measures 45×56×13 cm3. The stability of the laser is attributed to the intrinsic optical fiber-based light amplification and output coupling. Its 50-kHz pulse repetition rate enables fast scanning or extensive signal averaging. At the laser wavelength of 1064 nm, the photoacoustic microscope still has enough sensitivity to image small blood vessels while providing high optical absorption contrast between melanin and hemoglobin. Label-free melanoma cells in flowing bovine blood are imaged in vitro, yielding measurements of both cell size and flow speed.

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