Non-invasive treatment of tumor is beneficial for the favorable prognosis of the patients. High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) is an emerging non-invasive treatment tool that ablates tumor lesions by increasing local temperature without damaging surrounding tissues. In HIFU therapy, accurate focusing of the HIFU energy into the target lesion and real-time assessment of thermal distribution are critical for successful and safe treatment. Photoacoustic (PA) imaging is a novel biomedical imaging technique that can visualize functional information of biological tissues based on optical absorption and thermoelastic expansion. One unique feature of PA imaging is that the amplitude of the PA signal reflects the local temperature. Here, we demonstrate a real-time temperature monitoring system that can evaluate thermal distribution during HIFU therapy. We have integrated a HIFU treatment system, a clinical ultrasound (US) machine, and a tunable laser system and have acquired real-time PA/US images of in vitro phantoms and in vivo animals during HIFU therapy without interference from the therapeutic US waves. We have also evaluated the temperature monitoring capability of the system by comparing the amplitude of PA signals with the measured temperature in melanoma tumor bearing mice. Although much more updates are required for clinical applications, the results show the promising potential of the system to ensure accurate and safe HIFU therapy by monitoring the thermal distribution of the treatment area.
Jeesu Kim, Wonseok Choi, Eun-Yeong Park, and Chulhong Kim, "Integrated photoacoustic/ultrasound/HFU system based on a clinical ultrasound imaging platform," Proc. SPIE 10494, Photons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2018, 104940W (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 29, 2018; Published: 19 February 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2286406.
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