Simultaneous functional photoacoustic and ultrasonic endoscopy of internal organs in vivo

Nat Med. 2012 Aug;18(8):1297-1302. doi: 10.1038/nm.2823. Epub 2012 Jul 15.


At present, clinicians routinely apply ultrasound endoscopy in a variety of interventional procedures that provide treatment solutions for diseased organs. Ultrasound endoscopy not only produces high-resolution images, but also is safe for clinical use and broadly applicable. However, for soft tissue imaging, its mechanical wave-based image contrast fundamentally limits its ability to provide physiologically specific functional information. By contrast, photoacoustic endoscopy possesses a unique combination of functional optical contrast and high spatial resolution at clinically relevant depths, ideal for imaging soft tissues. With these attributes, photoacoustic endoscopy can overcome the current limitations of ultrasound endoscopy. Moreover, the benefits of photoacoustic imaging do not come at the expense of existing ultrasound functions; photoacoustic endoscopy systems are inherently compatible with ultrasound imaging, thereby enabling multimodality imaging with complementary contrast. Here we present simultaneous photoacoustic and ultrasonic dual-mode endoscopy and show its ability to image internal organs in vivo, thus illustrating its potential clinical application.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Anatomy, Cross-Sectional
  • Animals
  • Blood Vessels / chemistry
  • Blood Vessels / diagnostic imaging
  • Coloring Agents
  • Digestive System / chemistry
  • Digestive System / diagnostic imaging*
  • Endosonography / instrumentation
  • Endosonography / methods*
  • Equipment Design
  • Evans Blue
  • Hemoglobins / analysis
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Lymphatic System / diagnostic imaging*
  • Organ Size
  • Oxygen / analysis
  • Photoacoustic Techniques*
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Respiratory System / chemistry
  • Respiratory System / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tomography / methods*


  • Coloring Agents
  • Hemoglobins
  • Evans Blue
  • Oxygen