The field of photoacoustic tomography has experienced considerable growth in the past few years. Although several commercially available pure optical imaging modalities, including confocal microscopy, two-photon microscopy, and optical coherence tomography, have been highly successful, none of these technologies can provide penetration beyond ~1 mm into scattering biological tissues because they are based on ballistic and quasi-ballistic photons. Heretofore, there has been a void in high-resolution optical imaging beyond this depth limit. Photoacoustic tomography, which combines high ultrasonic resolution and strong optical contrast in a single modality, has filled this void. In this tutorial, the fundamentals of photoacoustics are first introduced. Then, scanning photoacoustic microscopy and reconstruction-based photoacoustic tomography (or photoacoustic computed tomography) are covered.
© 2008 Optical Society of AmericaPDF Article