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J Biophotonics. 2017 Feb;10(2):217-223. doi: 10.1002/jbio.201600210. Epub 2016 Oct 18.

Photoacoustic microscopy of electronic acupuncture (EA) effect in small animals.

Yang J1,2, Wu D1,2, Tang Y3, Jiang H1,2,4.

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School of Physical Electronics, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, China.
Center for Information in Medicine, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, China.
School of Acupuncture and Tuina, Chengdu University of TCM, Chengdu, China.
Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA.


Acupuncture has been an effective treatment for various pain in China for several thousand years. However, the mechanisms underlying this mysterious ancient healing are still largely unknown. Here we applied photoacoustic microscopy (PAM) to investigate brain hemodynamic changes in response to electronic acupuncture (EA) at ST36 (Zusanli). Due to the high optical absorption of blood at 532 nm, PAM could sensitively probe changes in hemoglobin concentration (HbT, i.e., cerebral blood volume [CBV]) of cortical regions in high resolution. Six healthy mice were stimulated at the acupoint and three healthy mice were stimulated at sham points. Remarkable CBV changes in sensorimotor and retrosplenial agranular cortex were observed. Results showed the potential of PAM as a visualization tool to study the acupuncture effect on brain hemodynamics in animal models. (a) Schematic showing the stimulation points. (b) B-scan images overlaid with mouse atlas.


acupuncture; brain imaging; photoacoustic microscopy

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