A preclinical small animal imaging platform combining multi-angle photoacoustic and fluorescence projections into co-registered 3D maps

Weylan Thompson, Anthony Yu, Diego S. Dumani, Jason Cook, Mark A. Anastasio, Stanislav Y. Emelianov, Sergey A. Ermilov

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We present the results on development of the 3D imaging platform combining photoacoustic tomography and fluorescence (PAFT) for preclinical and biological research. This combined multimodal imaging instrument addresses known deficiencies in sensitivity, spatial resolution, and anatomical registration of the individual imaging components. Multiangle photoacoustic projections, excited by an OPO operating in the near-infrared window, of a live anesthetized animal are used to reconstruct large volumes (30 cm3) that show deep anatomical vasculature and blood-rich tissues with resolutions exceeding 150 μm. A sCMOS camera is used for simultaneous co-registered multi-angle optical imaging. The images of a fluorescent dual-contrast agent are then reconstructed into a 3D volume using a tomographic algorithm. A separate 532-nm low-energy pulsed laser excitation is used for skin topography and imaging of superficial vasculature. All three imaging channels can be combined to produce spatially accurate in vivo volumes showing an animal's skin, deep anatomical structures, and distribution of photosensitive molecular contrast agents. PAFT's photoacoustic sensitivity was assessed using contrast agents in a phantom study. We demonstrate biomedical imaging application of PAFT's combined imaging modalities by observing biodistribution of a dual-contrast agent injected intravenously to in vivo preclinical murine models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPhotons Plus Ultrasound
Subtitle of host publicationImaging and Sensing 2020
EditorsAlexander A. Oraevsky, Lihong V. Wang
ISBN (Electronic)9781510632431
StatePublished - 2020
EventPhotons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2020 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Feb 2 2020Feb 5 2020

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferencePhotons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2020
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • Fluorescence
  • Molecular imaging
  • Optical imaging
  • Photoacoustic tomography
  • Photosound
  • Preclinical imaging
  • Quantitative imaging
  • Small animal imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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