High-speed functional photoacoustic microscopy using a water-immersible two-axis torsion-bending scanner.
Optical-resolution photoacoustic microscopy (OR-PAM) can provide functional, anatomical, and molecular images at micrometer level resolution with an imaging depth of less than 1 mm in tissue. However, the imaging speed of traditional OR-PAM is often low due to the point-by-point mechanical scanning and cannot capture time-sensitive dynamic information. In this work, we demonstrate a recent effort in improving the imaging speed of OR-PAM, using a newly developed water-immersible two-axis scanner. Driven by water-compatible electromagnetic actuation force, the new scanning mirror employs a novel torsion-bending mechanism to achieve fast 2D scanning. The torsion scanning along the fast-axis works in the resonant model, and the bending scanning along the slow-axis operate at the quasi-static mode. The scanning speed and scanning range along the two axes can be independently adjusted. Steered by the two-axis torsion-bending scanning mirror immersed in water, the focused excitation light and the generated acoustic wave can be confocally aligned over the entire imaging area. Thus, a high imaging speed can be achieved without sacrificing the detection sensitivity. Equipped with the torsion-bending scanner, the high-speed OR-PAM system has achieved a cross-sectional frame rate of 400 Hz, and a volumetric imaging speed of 1 Hz over a field of view of 1.5 × 2.5 mm2. We have also demonstrated high-speed OR-PAM of the hemodynamic changes in response to pharmaceutical and physiological challenges in small animal models in vivo. We expect the torsion-bending scanner based OR-PAM will find matched biomedical studies of tissue dynamics.