Abstract

The feasibility of diagnostic imaging and tissue characterization based on a new contrast realized by dual-pulse photoacoustic measurement was studied. Unlike current photoacoustic methods which are mostly focused on the measurement of tissue optical absorption, this contrast revealed by a dual-pulse laser excitation process takes advantage of the temperature dependence of the Grüneisen parameter of tissue. The first laser pulse heats the sample and causes a temperature rise in the target tissue, which leads to a change of the Grüneisen parameter and the amplitude of the photoacoustic signal from the second laser pulse. This new contrast is then quantified by percentile change in the second pulse signal as a result of the first laser pulse. Since the temperature-dependent Grüneisen parameter is tissue specific and closely relevant to chemical and molecular properties of the sample, the dual-pulse photoacoustic measurement can differentiate various tissue types and conditions. The preliminary study on phantoms and a mouse model has suggested the capability of the proposed contrast in the characterization of fatty livers and the potential for future clinical diagnosis of liver conditions.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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