A double-ring sensor was applied in photoacoustic tomographic imaging of artificial blood vessels as well as blood vessels in a rabbit ear. The peak-topeak time (τ pp) of the laser (1064 nm) induced pressure transient was used to estimate the axial vessel diameter. Comparison with the actual vessel diameter showed that the diameter could be approximated by 2cτ pp, with c the speed of sound in blood. Using this relation, the lateral diameter could also precisely be determined. In vivo imaging and monitoring of changes in vessel diameters was feasible. Finally, acoustic time traces were recorded while flushing a vessel in the rabbit ear with saline, which proved that the main contribution to the laser-induced pressure transient is caused by blood inside the vessel and that the vessel wall gives only a minor contribution.
Kolkman, R. G. M., Klaessens, J. H. G. M., Hondebrink, E., Hopman, J. C. W., de Mul, F. F. M., Steenbergen, W., ... van Leeuwen, T. (2004). Photoacoustic determination of blood vessel diameter. Physics in medicine and biology, 49(20), 4745-4756. https://doi.org/10.1088/0031-9155/49/20/006