Combined optoacoustic/ultrasound system for tomographic absorption measurements: possibilities and limitations
In this paper, we present the OPUS (optoacoustic plus ultrasound) system, which is a combination of a wavelength-tunable pulsed optical parametrical oscillator (OPO) laser with a commercial ultrasound (US) scanner. Optoacoustic (OA) or, synonymously, photoacoustic (PA) imaging is a spectroscopic technique to measure optical absorption in semitransparent solids and liquids. The measured signal is an acoustical pressure wave, which represents the absorption of pulsed optical radiation. By temporally and spatially resolved detection of the pressure wave on the sample surface, a 2D or even 3D image of the distribution of the optical absorption in the sample can be generated. In recent years, OA tomography has found increasing application in medical imaging. Most of these applications are based on qualitative OA imaging. The reported system is intended primarily for breast cancer detection, in which the optoacoustic imaging modality offers additional information to the ultrasound image. Consequently, the system is developed in a way that the OA imaging mode can be installed without major changes to the US instrument. The capabilities of the OPUS system for the quantitative analysis of absorber concentrations in tissue models are exploited.
KeywordsPhotoacoustic Medical imaging Quantitative information Ultrasound
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