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In Journal of biomedical optics

SIGNIFICANCE : Acoustically detecting the rich optical absorption contrast in biological tissues, photoacoustic tomography (PAT) seamlessly bridges the functional and molecular sensitivity of optical excitation with the deep penetration and high scalability of ultrasound detection. As a result of continuous technological innovations and commercial development, PAT has been playing an increasingly important role in life sciences and patient care, including functional brain imaging, smart drug delivery, early cancer diagnosis, and interventional therapy guidance.

AIM : Built on our 2016 tutorial article that focused on the principles and implementations of PAT, this perspective aims to provide an update on the exciting technical advances in PAT.

APPROACH : This perspective focuses on the recent PAT innovations in volumetric deep-tissue imaging, high-speed wide-field microscopic imaging, high-sensitivity optical ultrasound detection, and machine-learning enhanced image reconstruction and data processing. Representative applications are introduced to demonstrate these enabling technical breakthroughs in biomedical research.

CONCLUSIONS : We conclude the perspective by discussing the future development of PAT technologies.

Yao Junjie, Wang Lihong V


high-speed imaging, machine learning, optical ultrasound detection, optoacoustic imaging, photoacoustic tomography, volumetric imaging, wearable device