Realtime photoacoustic microscopy in vivo with a 30-MHz ultrasound array transducer

Opt Express. 2008 May 26;16(11):7915-28. doi: 10.1364/oe.16.007915.


We present a novel high-frequency photoacoustic microscopy system capable of imaging the microvasculature of living subjects in realtime to depths of a few mm. The system consists of a high-repetition-rate Q-switched pump laser, a tunable dye laser, a 30-MHz linear ultrasound array transducer, a multichannel high-frequency data acquisition system, and a shared-RAM multi-core-processor computer. Data acquisition, beamforming, scan conversion, and display are implemented in realtime at 50 frames per second. Clearly resolvable images of 6-microm-diameter carbon fibers are experimentally demonstrated at 80 microm separation distances. Realtime imaging performance is demonstrated on phantoms and in vivo with absorbing structures identified to depths of 2.5-3 mm. This work represents the first high-frequency realtime photoacoustic imaging system to our knowledge.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Computer Simulation
  • Computer Systems
  • Computer-Aided Design*
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Humans
  • Microcirculation / diagnostic imaging*
  • Microscopy, Acoustic / instrumentation*
  • Microscopy, Acoustic / methods
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Radio Waves
  • Transducers*