Photoacoustic imaging is a non-ionizing imaging modality that provides contrast consistent with optical imaging techniques while the resolution and penetration depth is similar to ultrasound techniques. In a previous publication [Opt. Express 18, 11406 (2010)], a technique was introduced to experimentally acquire the imaging operator for a photoacoustic imaging system. While this was an important foundation for future work, we have recently improved the experimental procedure allowing for a more densely populated imaging operator to be acquired. Subsets of the imaging operator were produced by varying the transducer count as well as the measurement space temporal sampling rate. Examination of the matrix rank and the effect of contributing object space singular vectors to image reconstruction were performed. For a PAI system collecting only limited data projections, matrix rank increased linearly with transducer count and measurement space temporal sampling rate. Image reconstruction using a regularized pseudoinverse of the imaging operator was performed on photoacoustic signals from a point source, line source, and an array of point sources derived from the imaging operator. As expected, image quality increased for each object with increasing transducer count and measurement space temporal sampling rate. Using the same approach, but on experimentally sampled photoacoustic signals from a moving point-like source, acquisition, data transfer, reconstruction and image display took 1.4 s using one laser pulse per 3D frame. With relatively simple hardware improvements to data transfer and computation speed, our current imaging results imply that acquisition and display of 3D photoacoustic images at laser repetition rates of 10Hz is easily achieved.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics