Photoacoustic tomography and sensing in biomedicine

Phys Med Biol. 2009 Oct 7;54(19):R59-97. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/54/19/R01. Epub 2009 Sep 1.


Photoacoustics has been broadly studied in biomedicine, for both human and small animal tissues. Photoacoustics uniquely combines the absorption contrast of light or radio frequency waves with ultrasound resolution. Moreover, it is non-ionizing and non-invasive, and is the fastest growing new biomedical method, with clinical applications on the way. This review provides a brief recap of recent developments in photoacoustics in biomedicine, from basic principles to applications. The emphasized areas include the new imaging modalities, hybrid detection methods, photoacoustic contrast agents and the photoacoustic Doppler effect, as well as translational research topics.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acoustics*
  • Animals
  • Contrast Media
  • Humans
  • Light*
  • Medicine / methods*
  • Spectrum Analysis
  • Tomography / adverse effects
  • Tomography / methods*


  • Contrast Media