Abstract

Bulky, expensive Nd:YAG lasers are used in conventional photoacoustic tomography (PAT) systems, making them difficult to translate into clinics. Moreover, real-time imaging is not feasible when a single-element ultrasound transducer is used with these low-pulse-repetition-rate lasers (10–100 Hz). Low-cost pulsed laser diodes (PLDs) can be used instead for photoacoustic imaging due to their high-pulse-repetition rates and compact size. Together with acoustic-reflector-based multiple single-element ultrasound transducers, a portable desktop PAT system was developed. This second-generation PLD-based PAT achieved 0.5 s cross-sectional imaging time with high spatial resolution of 165μm and an imaging depth of 3 cm. The performance of this system was characterized using phantom and in vivo studies. Dynamic in vivo imaging was also demonstrated by monitoring the fast uptake and clearance of indocyanine green in small animal (rat) brain vasculature.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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