We developed a new and improved Laser Optoacoustic Imaging System, LOIS-3D for preclinical research applications in small animal models. The advancements include (i) a new stabilized imaging module with a more homogeneous illumination of the mouse yielding a better spatial resolution (<0.2 mm) and (ii) a new low noise amplifier incorporated into the ultrasonic probe and providing the noise equivalent pressure around 2 Pa resulting in increased signal-to-noise ratio and the optical absorption sensitivity of about 0.15 cm-1. We also improved scan time and the image reconstruction times. This prototype has been commercialized for a number of biomedical research applications, such as imaging vascularization and measuring hemoglobin / oxyhemoglobin distribution in the organs as well as imaging exogenous or endogenous optoacoustic contrast agents. As examples, we present in vivo experiments using phantoms and mice with and without tumor injected with contrast agents with indocyanine green (ICG). LOIS-3D was capable of detecting ~1-2 pmole of the ICG, in tissues with relatively low blood content. With its high sensitivity and excellent spatial resolution LOIS-3D is an advanced alternative to fluorescence and bioluminescence based modalities for molecular imaging in live mice.
Richard Su, Anton Liopo, Sergey A. Ermilov, and Alexander A. Oraevsky, "Small animal optoacoustic tomography system for molecular imaging of contrast agents," Proc. SPIE 9708, Photons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2016, 97081S (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 16, 2016; Published: 18 March 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2217635.
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