Abstract

Wave-based optical elastography is rapidly emerging as a powerful technique for quantifying tissue biomechanical properties due to its noninvasive nature and high displacement sensitivity. However, current approaches are limited in their ability to produce high-frequency waves and highly localized mechanical stress. In this Letter, we demonstrate that the rapid liquid-to-gas phase transition of dye-loaded perfluorocarbon nanodroplets (“nanobombs”) initiated by a pulsed laser can produce highly localized, high-frequency, and broadband elastic waves. The waves were detected by an ultra-fast line-field low-coherence holography system. For comparison, we also excited waves using a focused micro-air-pulse. Results from tissue-mimicking phantoms showed that the nanobombs produced elastic waves with frequencies up to 9  kHz, which was much greater than the 2  kHz waves excited by the air-pulse. Consequently, the nanobombs enabled more accurate quantification of sample viscoelasticity. Combined with their potential for functionalization, the nanobombs show promise for accurate and highly specific noncontact all-optical elastography.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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