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Light Sci Appl. 2017 Jun 2;6(6):e16278. doi: 10.1038/lsa.2016.278. eCollection 2017 Jun.

Non-interferometric photoacoustic remote sensing microscopy.

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Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2V4 Canada.
IllumiSonics, Inc., 5205-38A Ave. N.W., Edmonton, Alberta, T6L 2J4, Canada.


Elasto-optical refractive index modulation due to photoacoustic initial pressure transients produced significant reflection of a probe beam when the absorbing interface had an appreciable refractive index difference. This effect was harnessed in a new form of non-contact optical resolution photoacoustic microscopy called photoacoustic remote sensing microscopy. A non-interferometric system architecture with a low-coherence probe beam precludes detection of surface oscillations and other phase-modulation phenomenon. The probe beam was confocal with a scanned excitation beam to ensure detection of initial pressure-induced intensity reflections at the subsurface origin where pressures are largest. Phantom studies confirmed signal dependence on optical absorption, index contrast and excitation fluence. In vivo imaging of superficial microvasculature and melanoma tumors was demonstrated with ~2.7±0.5 μm lateral resolution.


all optical; medical imaging; optical resolution; photoacoustic; remote sensing

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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