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17 July 2007 Acoustic property measurements in a photoacoustic imager
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Photoacoustics is a hybrid imaging technique that combines the contrast available to optical imaging with the resolution that is possessed by ultrasound imaging. The technique is based on generating ultrasound from absorbing structures in tissue using pulsed light. In photoacoustic (PA) computerized tomography (CT) imaging, reconstruction of the optical absorption in a subject, is performed for example by filtered backprojection. The backprojection is performed along circular paths in image space instead of along straight lines as in X-ray CT imaging. To achieve this, the speed-of-sound through the subject is usually assumed constant. An unsuitable speed-of-sound can degrade resolution and contrast. We discuss here a method of actually measuring the speed-of- sound distribution using ultrasound transmission through the subject under photoacoustic investigation. This is achieved in a simple approach that does not require any additional ultrasound transmitter. The method uses a passive element (carbon fiber) that is placed in the imager in the path of the illumination which generates ultrasound by the photoacoustic effect and behaves as an ultrasound source. Measuring the time-of-flight of this ultrasound transient by the same detector used for conventional photoacoustics, allows a speed-of-sound image to be reconstructed. This concept is validated on phantoms.
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René G. H. Willemink, Srirang Manohar D.D.S., Cornelis H. Slump, Ferdi van der Heijden, and Ton van Leeuwen "Acoustic property measurements in a photoacoustic imager", Proc. SPIE 6631, Novel Optical Instrumentation for Biomedical Applications III, 663109 (17 July 2007);

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