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22 February 2011 Interlaced realtime channel-domain photoacoustic and ultrasound imaging
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Photoacoustic imaging offers a new and complementary contrast mechanism to the traditional structural contrast of ultrasound. While the combination of these two modes has been demonstrated in the past with single-element transducers, array transducers offer clear advantages in both modes by eliminating mechanical scanning and allowing image formation from a single excitation. Given the abundance of commercially available ultrasound systems, it is desirable to use them as much as possible. However, these systems often only allow access to beamformed RF data. We discuss the applicability of ultrasound beamformers for photoacoustic imaging, and find that with only software-defined control over the speed of sound, walking aperture reconstruction is optimally performed using a speed correction factor of 1.414. When sector-scanning is used, a different strategy is required. We also demonstrate a new photoacoustic-ultrasound imaging system based on a Verasonics ultrasound array system. The system streams raw channel data to a 6-core PC at up to 1.4GB/s via PCI-Express, allowing interlaced ultrasound and photoacoustic data to be acquired and reconstructed at realtime rates. Using an L7-4 linear array transducer, we demonstrate the performance of this system and discuss potential applications. The system should provide new opportunities for clinical and pre-clinical imaging.
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Tyler Harrison and Roger J. Zemp "Interlaced realtime channel-domain photoacoustic and ultrasound imaging", Proc. SPIE 7899, Photons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2011, 78993M (22 February 2011);

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