The complementary contrast of the optoacoustic (OA) and pulse-echo ultrasound (US) modalities makes the combined usage of these imaging technologies highly advantageous. Due to the different physical contrast mechanisms development of a detector array optimally suited for both modalities is one of the challenges to efficient implementation of a single OA-US imaging device. We demonstrate imaging performance of the first hybrid detector array whose novel design, incorporating array segments of linear and concave geometry, optimally supports image acquisition in both reflection-mode ultrasonography and optoacoustic tomography modes.
Hybrid detector array has a total number of 256 elements and three segments of different geometry and variable pitch size: a central 128-element linear segment with pitch of 0.25mm, ideally suited for pulse-echo US imaging, and two external 64-elements segments with concave geometry and 0.6mm pitch optimized for OA image acquisition. Interleaved OA and US image acquisition with up to 25 fps is facilitated through a custom-made multiplexer unit. Spatial resolution of the transducer was characterized in numerical simulations and validated in phantom experiments and comprises 230 and 300 μm in the respective OA and US imaging modes.
Imaging performance of the multi-segment detector array was experimentally shown in a series of imaging sessions with healthy volunteers. Employing mixed array geometries allows at the same time achieving excellent OA contrast with a large field of view, and US contrast for complementary structural features with reduced side-lobes and improved resolution.
The newly designed hybrid detector array that comprises segments of linear and concave geometries optimally fulfills requirements for efficient US and OA imaging and may expand the applicability of the developed hybrid OPUS imaging technology and accelerate its clinical translation.
Elena Merčep, Neal C. Burton, Xosé Luís Deán-Ben, and Daniel Razansky, "Multi-segment detector array for hybrid reflection-mode ultrasound and optoacoustic tomography (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10057, Multimodal Biomedical Imaging XII, 100570J (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 29, 2017; Published: 19 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2251170.5371876648001.
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