Real-time photoacoustic and ultrasound dual-modality imaging system facilitated with graphics processing unit and code parallel optimization

Jie Yuan, Guan Xu, Yao Yu, Yu Zhou, Paul L Carson, Xueding Wang, Xiaojun Liu
Journal of Biomedical Optics 2013, 18 (8): 86001
Photoacoustic tomography (PAT) offers structural and functional imaging of living biological tissue with highly sensitive optical absorption contrast and excellent spatial resolution comparable to medical ultrasound (US) imaging. We report the development of a fully integrated PAT and US dual-modality imaging system, which performs signal scanning, image reconstruction, and display for both photoacoustic (PA) and US imaging all in a truly real-time manner. The back-projection (BP) algorithm for PA image reconstruction is optimized to reduce the computational cost and facilitate parallel computation on a state of the art graphics processing unit (GPU) card. For the first time, PAT and US imaging of the same object can be conducted simultaneously and continuously, at a real-time frame rate, presently limited by the laser repetition rate of 10 Hz. Noninvasive PAT and US imaging of human peripheral joints in vivo were achieved, demonstrating the satisfactory image quality realized with this system. Another experiment, simultaneous PAT and US imaging of contrast agent flowing through an artificial vessel, was conducted to verify the performance of this system for imaging fast biological events. The GPU-based image reconstruction software code for this dual-modality system is open source and available for download from

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