The combination of photoacoustic tomography (PAT) with optical coherence tomography (OCT) has seen steady progress over the past few years. With the benchtop and semi-benchtop configurations, preclinical and clinical results have been demonstrated, paving the way for wider applications using dual modality PAT/OCT systems. However, as for the most updated semi-benchtop PAT/OCT system which employs a Fabry-Perot polymer film sensor, it is restricted to only human palm imaging due to the limited flexibility of the probe. The passband limit of the polymer film sensor further restricts the OCT source selection and reduces the sensitivity of the combined OCT system. To tackle these issues, we developed an articulated PAT/OCT probe for both preclinical and clinical applications. In the probe design, the sample arm of OCT sub-system and the interrogation part of the PAT sub-system are integrated into one compact unit. The polymer film sensor has a quick release function so that before each OCT scan, the sensor can be taken off to avoid the sensitivity drop and artefacts in OCT. The holding mechanism of the sensor is also more compact compared to previous designs, permitting access to uneven surfaces of the subjects. With the help of the articulated probe and a patient chair, we are able to perform co-registered imaging on human subjects on both upper and lower extremities while they are at rest positions. An increase in performance characteristics is also achieved. Patients with skin diseases are currently being recruited to test its clinical feasibility.
Mengyang Liu, Behrooz Zabihian, Jessika Weingast, Boris Hermann, Zhe Chen, Edward Z. Zhang, Paul C. Beard, Hubert Pehamberger, and Wolfgang Drexler, "Articulated dual modality photoacoustic and optical coherence tomography probe for preclinical and clinical imaging
(Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9708, Photons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2016, 970817 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 15, 2016; Published: 27 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2212577.4828179436001.
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