Listening to tissues with new light: recent technological advances in photoacoustic imaging.
Photoacoustic tomography (PAT), or optoacoustic tomography, has achieved remarkable progress in the past decade, benefiting from the joint developments in optics, acoustics, chemistry, computing and mathematics. Unlike pure optical or ultrasound imaging, PAT can provide unique optical absorption contrast as well as widely scalable spatial resolution, penetration depth and imaging speed. Moreover, PAT has inherent sensitivity to tissue's functional, molecular, and metabolic state. With these merits, PAT has been applied in a wide range of life science disciplines, and has enabled biomedical research unattainable by other imaging methods. This Review article aims at introducing state-of-the-art PAT technologies and their representative applications. The focus is on recent technological breakthroughs in structural, functional, molecular PAT, including super-resolution imaging, real-time small-animal whole-body imaging, and high-sensitivity functional/molecular imaging. We also discuss the remaining challenges in PAT and envisioned opportunities.
Vu, T; Razansky, D; Yao, J
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