Acoustic property measurements in a photoacoustic imager

René G.H. Willemink, Srirang Manohar, Cornelis H. Slump, Ferdi van der Heijden, Ton van Leeuwen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
47 Downloads (Pure)


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 speedof- 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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNovel optical instrumentation for biomedical applications III
Subtitle of host publication17-19 June 2007, Munich, Germany
EditorsChristian D. Depeursinge
Place of PublicationBellingham, WA
PublisherSPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)978-0-81946-775-1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2007
EventEuropean Conferences on Biomedical Optics, ECBO 2007 - ICM—International Conference Centre Munich, Munich, Germany
Duration: 17 Jun 200721 Jun 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE


ConferenceEuropean Conferences on Biomedical Optics, ECBO 2007
Abbreviated titleECBO


  • Photoacoustic imaging
  • Speed of sound
  • Tomography
  • Ultrasound


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