Impacts of the murine skull on high-frequency transcranial photoacoustic brain imaging.
Non-invasive photoacoustic tomography (PAT) of mouse brains with intact skulls has been a challenge due to the skull's strong acoustic attenuation, aberration, and reverberation, especially in the high-frequency range (>15 MHz). In this paper, we systematically investigated the impacts of the murine skull on the photoacoustic wave propagation and on the PAT image reconstruction. We studied the photoacoustic acoustic wave aberration due to the acoustic impedance mismatch at the skull boundaries and the mode conversion between the longitudinal wave and shear wave. The wave's reverberation within the skull was investigated for both longitudinal and shear modes. In the inverse process, we reconstructed the transcranial photoacoustic computed tomography (PACT) and photoacoustic microscopy (PAM) images of a point target enclosed by the mouse skull, showing the skull's different impacts on both modalities. Finally, we experimentally validated the simulations by imaging an in vitro mouse skull phantom using representative transcranial PAM and PACT systems. The experimental results agreed well with the simulations and confirmed the accuracy of our forward and inverse models. We expect that our results will provide better understanding of the impacts of the murine skull on transcranial photoacoustic brain imaging and pave the ways for future technical improvements.
Liang, B; Liu, W; Zhan, Q; Li, M; Zhuang, M; Liu, QH; Yao, J
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