In optoacoustic imaging, the high optical contrast between different tissue types is combined with the high resolution and low scattering of ultrasound. Using adapted reconstruction algorithms, images of the distribution of light absorption in tissue can be obtained. Such as in any emerging modality, there is limited experience regarding the interpretation of optoacoustic images. For this reason, we developed a flexible hardware platform combining ultrasound imaging with optoacoustics. The system is based on the software processing of channel data and different types of reconstruction algorithms are implemented. It combines optoacoustic imaging based on linear arrays for detection with plane wave compounding ultrasound. Our system further includes a custom made probe based on a 7,5 MHz array, custom made fibre bundles for targeted light delivery and an acoustic coupling pad. The system was characterized on phantoms and first in-vivo datasets from subcutaneous vasculature were acquired.
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