Passive element enriched photoacoustic computed tomography (PER PACT) for simultaneous imaging of acoustic propagation properties and light absorption

Jithin Jose, Rene G H Willemink, Steffen Resink, Daniele Piras, J C G van Hespen, Cornelis H Slump, Wiendelt Steenbergen, Ton G van Leeuwen, Srirang Manohar
Optics Express 2011 January 31, 19 (3): 2093-104
We present a 'hybrid' imaging approach which can image both light absorption properties and acoustic transmission properties of an object in a two-dimensional slice using a computed tomography (CT) photoacoustic imager. The ultrasound transmission measurement method uses a strong optical absorber of small cross-section placed in the path of the light illuminating the sample. This absorber, which we call a passive element acts as a source of ultrasound. The interaction of ultrasound with the sample can be measured in transmission, using the same ultrasound detector used for photoacoustics. Such measurements are made at various angles around the sample in a CT approach. Images of the ultrasound propagation parameters, attenuation and speed of sound, can be reconstructed by inversion of a measurement model. We validate the method on specially designed phantoms and biological specimens. The obtained images are quantitative in terms of the shape, size, location, and acoustic properties of the examined heterogeneities.

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