Photoacoustic section imaging using an elliptical acoustic mirror and optical detection

Robert Nuster, Sibylle Gratt, Klaus Passler, Dirk Meyer, Guenther Paltauf
Journal of Biomedical Optics 2012, 17 (3): 030503
A method is proposed that utilizes the advantages of optical ultrasound detection in two-dimensional photoacoustic section imaging, combining an optical interferometer with an acoustic mirror. The concave mirror has the shape of an elliptical cylinder and concentrates the acoustic wave generated around one focal line in the other one, where an optical beam probes the temporal evolution of acoustic pressure. This yields line projections of the acoustic sources at distances corresponding to the time of flight, which, after rotating the sample about an axis perpendicular to the optical detector, allows reconstruction of a section using the inverse Radon transform. A resolution of 120 [micro sign]m within and 1.5 mm between the sections can be obtained with the setup. Compared to a bare optical probe beam, the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is seven times higher with the mirror. Furthermore, the imaging system is tested on a biological sample.

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