Abstract

Photoacoustic (PA) endoscopy has the potential to diagnose early diseases in the gastrointestinal tract. For the first time, to our knowledge, we developed an autofocusing PA endoscope (AF-PAE) for the usually irregular gastrointestinal tract imaging to solve the deterioration of transverse resolution caused by the defocus scanning of the probe. The 9-mm-diameter AF-PAE probe integrated a 6-mm aspheric lens and 6-mm liquid lens to automatically adjust the optical focal length, and an unfocused ultrasonic transducer with a center frequency of 15 MHz is coaxially set for detecting PA signals. With this probe, the AF-PAE achieved a focus-shifting range from approximately 2 to 10 mm with high transverse resolution and image contrast in a 360° field of view. Phantom experiment and vasculature distribution of a resected rabbit rectum have been performed to demonstrate the imaging ability of the AF-PAE for potential clinical applications in colorectal vessel imaging and subsequent diagnosis.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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