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Photoacoustic tomography: principles and advances.

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Optical Imaging Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, Missouri 63130, USA.


Photoacoustic tomography (PAT) is an emerging imaging modality that shows great potential for preclinical research and clinical practice. As a hybrid technique, PAT is based on the acoustic detection of optical absorption from either endogenous chromophores, such as oxy-hemoglobin and deoxy-hemoglobin, or exogenous contrast agents, such as organic dyes and nanoparticles. Because ultrasound scatters much less than light in tissue, PAT generates high-resolution images in both the optical ballistic and diffusive regimes. Over the past decade, the photoacoustic technique has been evolving rapidly, leading to a variety of exciting discoveries and applications. This review covers the basic principles of PAT and its different implementations. Strengths of PAT are highlighted, along with the most recent imaging results.


Photoacoustic tomography; anatomical imaging; brain imaging; functional imaging; molecular imaging; nanoparticle; photoacoustic computed tomography; photoacoustic microscopy; super resolution; tumor imaging; vascular imaging


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