Application of inverse source concepts to photoacoustic tomography

Mark A. Anastasio, Jin Zhang, Dimple Modgil, Patrick J. La Rivière

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Photoacoustic tomography (PAT), also known as optoacoustic or thermoacoustic tomography, is a hybrid imaging technique that possesses great potential for a wide range of biomedical imaging applications. Image reconstruction in PAT is tantamount to solving an inverse source problem, where the source represents the optical energy absorption distribution in the object that is induced by an interrogating pulsed optical waveform. In this work, we re-examine the PAT image reconstruction problem from a Fourier domain perspective by use of established time-harmonic inverse source concepts. A mathematical relationship between the photoacoustic pressure wavefield data on an aperture that encloses the object and the three-dimensional Fourier transform of the optical absorption distribution evaluated on a collection of concentric spheres is investigated. In addition to providing a framework for deriving both exact and approximate analytic reconstruction formulae, we demonstrate that this mapping provides an intuitive means of understanding certain spatial resolution characteristics of PAT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S21-S35
JournalInverse Problems
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Signal Processing
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics


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