In this paper we present a new high-contrast photoacoustic tomography (PAT) imaging system using a 4f acoustic lens, a 64-element linear transducer array and peak-hold technology. This PAT imaging system has been developed to obtain three-dimensional (3D) PAT images of experimental samples. By utilizing a 4f acoustic lens, the photoacoustic (PA) signals generated from the sample are directly imaged on the imaging plane and collected by the 64-element linear transducer array, which changes them into the corresponding electronic signals. Then we can get one-dimensional (1D) images from the electronic signals using a peak detection-and-hold circuit. After vertical scanning with a stepping motor on the imaging plane, a 2D PA image of the sample is successfully obtained. Combined with the time-resolved technique, we can then get 3D PAT images. The results show that the reconstructed images agree well with the original samples.
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