The planar Fabry-Pérot (FP) sensor provides high quality photoacoustic (PA) images but beam walk-off limits sensitivity and thus penetration depth to ≈1 cm. Planoconcave microresonator sensors eliminate beam walk-off enabling sensitivity to be increased by an order-of-magnitude whilst retaining the highly favourable frequency response and directional characteristics of the FP sensor. The first tomographic PA images obtained in a tissue-realistic phantom using the new sensors are described. These show that the microresonator sensors provide near identical image quality as the planar FP sensor but with significantly greater penetration depth (e.g. 2-3cm) due to their higher sensitivity. This offers the prospect of whole body small animal imaging and clinical imaging to depths previously unattainable using the FP planar sensor.
James A. Guggenheim, Edward Z. Zhang, and Paul C. Beard, "Photoacoustic imaging with planoconcave optical microresonator sensors: feasibility studies based on phantom imaging," Proc. SPIE 10064, Photons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2017, 100641V (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 31, 2017; Published: 23 March 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2249993.
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