Stomach wall structure and vessels imaging by acoustic resolution photoacoustic microscopy

World J Gastroenterol. 2018 Aug 21;24(31):3531-3537. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v24.i31.3531.


Aim: To image stomach wall blood vessels and tissue, layer-by-layer.

Methods: We built up the acoustic resolution photoacoustic microscopy (AR-PAM) system for imaging layered tissues, such as the stomach wall. A tunable dye laser system was coupled to a fiber bundle. The fibers of the bundle were placed in nine directions with an incident angle of 45° around a high-frequency ultrasound transducer attached to the acoustic lens. This structure formed a dark field on the tissue surface under the acoustic lens and the nine light beams from the fibers to be combined near the focal point of the acoustic lens. The sample piece was cut from a part of the porcine stomach into a petri dish. In order to realize photoacoustic depth imaging of tumor, we designed a tumor model based on indocyanine green (ICG) dye. The ICG solution (concentration of 129 μM/mL) was mixed into molten gel, and then a gel mixture of ICG (concentration of 12.9 μM/mL) was injected into the stomach submucosa. The injection quantity was controlled by 0.1 mL to make a small tumor model.

Results: An acoustic resolution photoacoustic microscopy based on fiber illumination was established and an axial resolution of 25 μm and a lateral resolution of 50 μm in its focal zone range of 500 μm has been accomplished. We tuned the laser wavelength to 600 nm. The photoacoustic probe was driven to do B-scan imaging in tissue thickness of 200 μm. The photoacoustic micro-image of mucosa and submucosa of the tissue have been obtained and compared with a pathological photograph of the tissue stained by hematoxylin-eosin staining. We have observed more detailed internal structure of the tissue. We also utilized this photoacoustic microscopy to image blood vessels inside the submucosa. High contrast imaging of the submucosa tumor model was obtained using ICG dye.

Conclusion: This AR-PAM is able to image layer-by-layer construction and some blood vessels under mucosa in the stomach wall without any contrast agents.

Keywords: Acoustic resolution; Fiber; Layered tissue; Photoacoustic imaging; Stomach.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Coloring Agents / chemistry
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods
  • Indocyanine Green / chemistry
  • Lasers, Dye
  • Microscopy, Acoustic / instrumentation
  • Microscopy, Acoustic / methods*
  • Microvessels / diagnostic imaging*
  • Stomach / blood supply
  • Stomach / diagnostic imaging*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Sus scrofa


  • Coloring Agents
  • Indocyanine Green