Abstract

In this study, the feasibility of visualization of human joints using photoacoustic tomography (PAT) is investigated. To verify this idea, the system of integrated optical fiber bundles and a custom-made flexible transducer is established, both of which give the advantage of morphological adaptation; therefore, the coupling section can be worn on human limbs. The imaging capacity of the flexible-transducer-based PAT system is validated by mapping the structures of the finger and the wrist joint. To the best of our knowledge, it is the first time to achieve photoacoustic imaging of such large human wrist joints. The cross-sectional photoacoustic images of a healthy joint clearly exhibit the main internal structures, including the phalanx, tendons, and blood vessels, which are comparable with the corresponding images by 3.0 T magnetic resonance imaging. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed system holds promise for early diagnosis of joint disorders.

© 2019 Chinese Laser Press

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