PHOTOACOUSTIC IMAGING—NEW PHYSICS, NEW CONTRAST, AND DEVELOPMENT TOWARDS CLINICAL TRANSLATION
Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, China
Photoacoustic imaging is a novel hybrid biomedical imaging technology that has experienced rapid growth during the past decade. It uniquely combines the advantages of optical absorption contrast (sensitive to molecular conformation and thus the early development of many diseases) with ultrasonic resolution for in vivo imaging as deep as several centimeters. Here we will discuss state-of-the-art technology progress in the area and its development towards clinical translation. In particular, we will present the development of: (1) intravascular photoacoustic endomicroscopy capable of imaging the thin-cap, composition, and other key features of atherosclerotic plaques for vulnerable plaque identification; (2) real-time handheld photoacoustic multimodality imaging technology capable of imaging tumor vasculature label-freely and sentinel lymph node noninvasively; (3) fully integrated in vivo photoacoustic/two-photon microscopy with a resolution as fine as 300 nm and multiple contrasts—absorption, second-harmonic, and fluorescence—for tumor microenvironment imaging and study.