Non-invasive detection of breast cancer has been regarded as the holy grail of applications for photoacoustic (optoacoustic) imaging right from the early days of re-discovery of the method. Two-and-a-half decades later we report on the state-of-the-art in photoacoustic breast imaging technology and clinical studies. Even within the single application of breast imaging, we find imagers with various measurement geometries, ultrasound detection characteristics, illumination schemes, and image reconstruction strategies. We first analyze the implications on performance of a few of these design choices in a generic imaging system, before going into detailed descriptions of the imagers. Per imaging system we present highlights of patient studies, which barring a couple are mostly in the nature of technology demonstrations and proof-of-principle studies. We close this work with a discussion on several aspects that may turn out to be crucial for the future clinical translation of the method.
- Breast cancer
- Breast imaging