Imaging technologies that simultaneously provide anatomical, functional, and molecular information are emerging as an attractive choice for disease screening and management. Since the 1980s, transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) has been routinely used to visualize prostatic anatomy and guide needle biopsy, despite limited specificity. Photoacoustic imaging (PAI) provides functional and molecular information at ultrasonic resolution based on optical absorption. Combining the strengths of TRUS and PAI approaches, we report the development and bench-to-bedside translation of an integrated TRUS and photoacoustic (TRUSPA) device. TRUSPA uses a miniaturized capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer array for simultaneous imaging of anatomical and molecular optical contrasts [intrinsic: hemoglobin; extrinsic: intravenous indocyanine green (ICG)] of the human prostate. Hemoglobin absorption mapped vascularity of the prostate and surroundings, whereas ICG absorption enhanced the intraprostatic photoacoustic contrast. Future work using the TRUSPA device for biomarker-specific molecular imaging may enable a fundamentally new approach to prostate cancer diagnosis, prognostication, and therapeutic monitoring.
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