Model-based optical and acoustical compensation for photoacoustic tomography of heterogeneous mediums

Alexander Pattyn, Zackary Mumm, Naser Alijabbari, Neb Duric, Mark A. Anastasio, Mohammad Mehrmohammadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Photoacoustic tomography (PAT) is a non-invasive, high-resolution imaging modality, capable of providing functional and molecular information of various pathologies, such as cancer. One limitation of PAT is the depth and wavelength dependent optical fluence, which results in reduced PA signal amplitude from deeper tissue regions. These factors can therefore introduce errors into quantitative measurements such as oxygen saturation (sO2) or the localization and concentration of various chromophores. The variation in the speed-of-sound between different tissues can also lead to distortions in object location and shape. Compensating for these effects allows PAT to be used more quantitatively. We have developed a proof-of-concept algorithm capable of compensating for the heterogeneity in speed-of-sound and depth dependent optical fluence. Speed-of-sound correction was done by using a straight ray-based algorithm for calculating the family of iso-time-of-flight contours between the transducers and every pixel in the imaging grid, while fluence compensation was done by utilizing the graphics processing unit (GPU) accelerated software MCXCL for Monte Carlo modeling of optical fluence variation. This algorithm was tested on a polyvinyl chloride plastisol (PVCP) phantom, which contained cyst mimics and blood inclusions to test the algorithm under relatively heterogeneous conditions. Our results indicate that our PAT algorithm can compensate for the speed-of-sound variation and depth dependent fluence effects within a heterogeneous phantom. The results of this study will pave the way for further development and evaluation of the proposed method in more complex in-vitro and ex-vivo phantoms, as well as compensating for the wavelength-dependent optical fluence in spectroscopic PAT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100275
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Image reconstruction
  • Numerical modeling
  • Optical fluence compensation
  • Photoacoustic tomography
  • Quantitative photoacoustic tomography
  • Speed of sound compensation
  • Ultrasound tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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