Acute cardiovascular events are mostly due to a blood clot or thrombus induced by the sudden rupture of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques within coronary artery walls. Based on the high optical absorption contrast of the lipid rich plaques within the vessel wall, intravascular photoacoustic (IVPA) imaging at 1.7 μm spectral band has shown promising capabilities for detecting of lipid composition, but the translation of the technology for in vivo application is limited by the slow imaging speed. In this work, we will present a high speed integrated IVPA/US imaging system with a 500 Hz optical parametric oscillator laser at 1725 nm (5 nm linewidth). A miniature catheter with 1.0 mm outer diameter was designed with a polished 200 μm multimode fiber and an ultrasound transducer with 45 MHz center frequency. Two optical illumination methods by gradient-index (GRIN) lens and ball lens are introduced and compared for higher spatial resolution. At 1725 nm, atherosclerotic rabbit abdominal aorta was imaged at two frame per second, which is more than one order of magnitude faster than previous reported IVPA imaging. Furthermore, by wide tuning range of the laser wavelength from 1680 nm to 1770 nm, spectroscopic photoacoustic analysis of lipid-mimicking phantom and an human atherosclerotic artery was performed ex vivo.
Zhonglie Piao, Ma Teng, Jiawen Li, Yueqiao Qu, Mingyue Yu, K. Kirk Shung, Qifa Zhou, Chang-Seok Kim, and Zhongping Chen, "High speed photoacoustic imaging with fast OPO laser at 1.7 μm (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9708, Photons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2016, 97082T (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 17, 2016; Published: 28 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2214074.4828179394001.
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