A new acoustic lens material for large area detectors in photoacoustic breast tomography

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Objectives We introduce a new acoustic lens material for photoacoustic tomography (PAT) to improve lateral resolution while possessing excellent acoustic acoustic impedance matching with tissue to minimize lens induced image artifacts. Background A large surface area detector due to its high sensitivity is preferable to detect weak signals in photoacoustic mammography. The lateral resolution is then limited by the narrow acceptance angle of such detectors. Acoustic lenses made of acrylic plastic (PMMA) have been used to enlarge the acceptance angle of such detectors and improve lateral resolution. However, such PMMA lenses introduce image artifacts due to internal reflections of ultrasound within the lenses, the result of acoustic impedance mismatch with the coupling medium or tissue. Methods A new lens is proposed based on the 2-component resin Stycast 1090SI. We characterized the acoustic properties of the proposed lens material in comparison with commonly used PMMA, inspecting the speed of sound, acoustic attenuation and density. We fabricated acoustic lenses based on the new material and PMMA, and studied the effect of the acoustic lenses on detector performance comparing finite element (FEM) simulations and measurements of directional sensitivity, pulse-echo response and frequency response. We further investigated the effect of using the acoustic lenses on the image quality of a photoacoustic breast tomography system using k-Wave simulations and experiments. Results Our acoustic characterization shows that Stycast 1090SI has tissue-like acoustic impedance, high speed of sound and low acoustic attenuation. These acoustic properties ensure an excellent acoustic lens material to minimize the acoustic insertion loss. Both acoustic lenses show significant enlargement of detector acceptance angle and lateral resolution improvement from modeling and experiments. However, the image artifacts induced by the presence of an acoustic lens are reduced using the proposed lens compared to PMMA lens, due to the minimization of internal reflections. Conclusions The proposed Stycast 1090SI acoustic lens improves the lateral resolution of photoacoustic tomography systems while not suffering from internal reflection-induced image artifacts compared a lens made of PMMA.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)9-18
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • IR-89753
  • METIS-297530

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