Photo-imprint super-resolution photoacoustic microscopy
Combining the absorption-based photoacoustic effect and intensity-dependent photobleaching effect, we demonstrate a simple method for super-resolution photoacoustic imaging of both fluorescent and non-fluorescent samples. Our method is based on a double-excitation process, where the first excitation pulse partially and inhomogeneously bleaches the molecules in the diffraction-limited excitation volume, thus biasing the signal contributions from a second excitation pulse striking the same region. By scanning the excitation beam, we performed three-dimensional sub-diffraction imaging of varied fluorescent and non-fluorescent species. A lateral resolution of 80 nm and an axial resolution of 370 nm have been demonstrated. This technique has the potential to enable label-free super-resolution imaging, and can be transferred to other optical imaging modalities or combined with other super-resolution methods.