A dual-foci transducer with coplanar light illumination and acoustic detection was applied for the first time. It overcame the small directivity angle, low-sensitivity, and large datasets in conventional circular scanning or array-based photoacoustic computed tomography (PACT). The custom-designed transducer is focused on both the scanning plane with virtual-point detection and the elevation direction for large field of view (FOV) cross-sectional imaging. Moreover, a coplanar light illumination and acoustic detection configuration can provide ring-shaped light irradiation with highly efficient acoustic detection, which in principle has a better adaptability when imaging samples of irregular surfaces. Phantom experiments showed that our PACT system can achieve high resolution (∼0.5 mm), enhanced signal-to-noise ratio (16-dB improvement), and a more complete structure in a greater FOV with an equal number of sampling points compared with the results from a flat aperture transducer. This study provides the proof of concept for the fabrication of a sparse array with the dual-foci property and large aperture size for high-quality, low-cost, and high-speed photoacoustic imaging.
Keywords: coplanar light illumination and acoustic detection; dual-foci transducer; photoacoustic computed tomography; virtual-point detection.
(2018) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).