Photoacoustic (PA) systems based on clinical linear ultrasound arrays have become increasingly popular in translational PA research. Such systems can more easily be integrated in a clinical workflow due to the simultaneous access to ultrasonic imaging and their familiarity of use to clinicians. In contrast to more complex setups, handheld linear probes can be applied to a large variety of clinical use cases. However, most translational work with such scanners is based on proprietary development and as such not accessible to the community.
In this contribution, we present a custom-built, hybrid, multispectral, real-time photoacoustic and ultrasonic imaging system with a linear array probe that is controlled by software developed within the highly customisable and extendable open-source software platform Medical Imaging Interaction Toolkit (MITK). Our software offers direct control of both the laser and the ultrasonic system and may thus serve as a starting point for various translational research and development. To demonstrate the extensibility of our system, we developed an open-source software plugin for real-time in vivo blood oxygenation measurements. Blood oxygenation is estimated by spectral unmixing of hemoglobin chromophores. The performance is demonstrated on in vivo measurements of the common carotid artery as well as peripheral extremity vessels of healthy volunteers.
Thomas Kirchner, Janek Gröhl, Franz Sattler, Moritz S. Bischoff, Angelika Laha, Marco Nolden, and Lena Maier-Hein, "Real-time in vivo blood oxygenation measurements with an open-source software platform for translational photoacoustic research (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10494, Photons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2018, 1049407 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 28, 2018; Published: 15 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2288363.5752215459001.
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