Laboratory Products

Photoacoustic tomography combines optical imaging and ultrasound

Mar 27 2012 Comments 0

Photoacoustic tomography has been credited for its ability to combine optical imaging and ultrasound to provide multiscale, multicontrast images of biological tissue, according to a review article published in Science.

Lead author Lihong V. Wang, from Washington University talked to Medscape Medical News about the study, saying: "In current practice, if we want to image organelles and cells, we use optical microscopy, and when we want to image tissues and organs, we use nonoptics, X-ray, ultrasound or single photon emission tomography. Consequently, between the microscopic domain and the macroscopic domain, there is a large divide, which prevents us from correlating images acquired from different-length scales."

To bridge this gap, researchers are now looking at photoacoustic tomography, which allows them to look at the same contrast mechanisms and makes it far easier to correlate images that have been taken from different length scales. The science software also provides anatomical, functional, metabolic, and molecular information.

Radiologists will be looking out for the new technology, that has not yet been released. There are few hurdles to overcome in terms of US Food and Drug Administration, which means that it could be available imminently.

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