An interferometric sensor based on nonmetallic silica optical fiber is presented as an ultrasonic wideband transducer for optoacoustic imaging applications. We have characterized the sensitivity of the optical fiber sensor by detecting optoacoustic signals from an optically absorbing object embedded in a tissue-mimicking phantom and have compared the signals recorded with those detected from the same phantom using an array of piezoelectric transducers. The optical fiber sensor was also scanned along the phantom surface in order to reconstruct two-dimensional optoacoustic images of the phantom. These images have been compared with images obtained using the Laser Optoacoustic Imaging System, LOIS-64B, demonstrating the feasibility of our fiber-optic sensor as a wideband ultrasonic transducer.
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