Miniature all-optical probe for large synthetic aperture photoacoustic-ultrasound imaging

Guangyao Li, Zhendong Guo, Sung-Liang Chen
Optics Express 2017 October 16, 25 (21): 25023-25035
A miniature all-optical probe for high-resolution photoacoustic (PA)-ultrasound (US) imaging using a large synthetic aperture is developed. The probe consists of three optical fibers for PA excitation, US generation, and detection of acoustic waves, respectively. The fiber for PA excitation has a large numerical aperture (NA) for wide-angle laser illumination. On the other hand, the fiber with a carbon black-polydimethylsiloxane composite coated on the end face of the optical fiber is used for wide-angle US transmission through laser-US conversion. Both the excited PA and backscattered US signals are detected by a fiber-tip Fabry-Perot cavity for wide-angle acoustic detection. The probe outer diameter is only ~2 mm. The synergy of the three optical fibers makes a large-NA synthetic aperture focusing technique for high-resolution PA and US imaging possible. High PA lateral resolutions of 104-154 μm and high US lateral resolutions of 64-112 μm over a depth range of > 4 mm are obtained. Compared with other existing miniature PA-US probes, to our knowledge, our probe achieves by far the best performance in terms of lateral resolutions and imaging depth range. The constructed probe has potential for endoscopic and intravascular imaging applications that require PA and US contrasts with high resolutions over a large depth range.

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