Abstract

Reflection-mode photoacoustic microscopy with dark-field laser pulse illumination and high-numerical-aperture ultrasonic detection is designed and implemented in noninvasively imaged blood vessels in the skin in vivo. Dark-field optical illumination minimizes the interference caused by strong photoacoustic signals from superficial structures. A high-numerical-aperture acoustic lens provides high lateral resolution, 45120μm in this system. A broadband ultrasonic detection system provides high axial resolution, estimated to be 15μm. The optical illumination and ultrasonic detection are in a coaxial confocal configuration for optimal image quality. The system is capable of imaging optical-absorption contrast as deep as 3mm in biological tissue.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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