Abstract

Photoacoustic tomography (PAT), also known as thermoacoustic or optoacoustic tomography, is a rapidly emerg ing biomedical imaging technique that combines optical image contrast with ultrasound detection principles. Most existing reconstruction algorithms for PAT assume the object of interest possesses homogeneous acoustic properties. The images produced by such algorithms can contain significant distortions and artifacts when the object’s acoustic properties are spatially variant. In this work, we establish an image reconstruction formula for PAT applications in which a planar detection surface is employed and the to-be-imaged optical absorber is embedded in a known planar layered acoustic medium. The reconstruction formula is exact in a mathematical sense and accounts for multiple acoustic reflections between the layers of the medium. Computer-simulation studies are conducted to demonstrate and investigate the proposed method.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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