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Sensors (Basel). 2013 Jun 4;13(6):7345-84. doi: 10.3390/s130607345.

Optoacoustic imaging and tomography: reconstruction approaches and outstanding challenges in image performance and quantification.

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1
Institute for Biological and Medical Imaging, Technical University of Munich and Helmholtz Center Munich, Neuherberg 85764, Germany. christian.lutzweiler@helmholtz-muenchen.de

Abstract

This paper comprehensively reviews the emerging topic of optoacoustic imaging from the image reconstruction and quantification perspective. Optoacoustic imaging combines highly attractive features, including rich contrast and high versatility in sensing diverse biological targets, excellent spatial resolution not compromised by light scattering, and relatively low cost of implementation. Yet, living objects present a complex target for optoacoustic imaging due to the presence of a highly heterogeneous tissue background in the form of strong spatial variations of scattering and absorption. Extracting quantified information on the actual distribution of tissue chromophores and other biomarkers constitutes therefore a challenging problem. Image quantification is further compromised by some frequently-used approximated inversion formulae. In this review, the currently available optoacoustic image reconstruction and quantification approaches are assessed, including back-projection and model-based inversion algorithms, sparse signal representation, wavelet-based approaches, methods for reduction of acoustic artifacts as well as multi-spectral methods for visualization of tissue bio-markers. Applicability of the different methodologies is further analyzed in the context of real-life performance in small animal and clinical in-vivo imaging scenarios.

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