Acoustogenic Probes: A Demonstration to Introduce the Photoacoustic Effect via Analyte Sensing

Rodrigo Tapia Hernandez, Joseph A. Forzano, Melissa Y. Lucero, Chelsea Anorma, Jefferson Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Photoacoustic imaging is a state-of-the-art technique that combines light excitation with ultrasound generation via the photoacoustic effect. Since sound waves at clinically relevant frequencies undergo minimal perturbation as they pass through the body, photoacoustic imaging is ideal for deep-tissue imaging applications in vivo. Despite its utility in the biomedical field, it is unlikely that undergraduate students will ever experience this technology firsthand in a classroom setting owing to the delicate and expensive nature of the instrumentation. Likewise, students will not be exposed to acoustogenic probes, which are specialized chemicals designed to detect biologically relevant analytes using photoacoustic imaging. With the goal of introducing new chemical analysis and imaging techniques to the undergraduate chemistry curricula, we present a simple and inexpensive setup (all materials were purchased for less than $48 USD) to demonstrate the photoacoustic effect through analyte sensing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2618-2624
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 10 2021


  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Bioanalytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Dyes/Pigments
  • Hands-On Learning/Manipulatives
  • Upper-Division Undergraduate
  • pH

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Education


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