Video-rate functional photoacoustic microscopy at depths

Lidai Wang, Konstantin Maslov, Wenxin Xing, Alejandro Garcia-Uribe, Lihong V Wang
Journal of Biomedical Optics 2012, 17 (10): 106007
We report the development of functional photoacoustic microscopy capable of video-rate high-resolution in vivo imaging in deep tissue. A lightweight photoacoustic probe is made of a single-element broadband ultrasound transducer, a compact photoacoustic beam combiner, and a bright-field light delivery system. Focused broadband ultrasound detection provides a 44-μm lateral resolution and a 28-μm axial resolution based on the envelope (a 15-μm axial resolution based on the raw RF signal). Due to the efficient bright-field light delivery, the system can image as deep as 4.8 mm in vivo using low excitation pulse energy (28 μJ per pulse, 0.35  mJ/cm² on the skin surface). The photoacoustic probe is mounted on a fast-scanning voice-coil scanner to acquire 40 two-dimensional (2-D) B-scan images per second over a 9-mm range. High-resolution anatomical imaging is demonstrated in the mouse ear and brain. Via fast dual-wavelength switching, oxygen dynamics of mouse cardio-vasculature is imaged in realtime as well.

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