Optical imaging in a turbid medium is limited because of multiple scattering a photon undergoes while traveling through the medium. Therefore, optical imaging is unable to provide high resolution information deep in the medium. In the case of soft tissue, acoustic waves unlike light, can travel through the medium with negligible scattering. However, acoustic waves cannot provide medically relevant contrast as good as light. Hybrid solutions have been applied to use the benefits of both imaging methods. A focused acoustic wave generates a force inside an acoustically absorbing medium known as acoustic radiation force (ARF). ARF induces particle displacement within the medium. The amount of displacement is a function of mechanical properties of the medium and the applied force. To monitor the displacement induced by the ARF, speckle pattern analysis can be used. The speckle pattern is the result of interfering optical waves with different phases. As light travels through the medium, it undergoes several scattering events. Hence, it generates different scattering paths which depends on the location of the particles. Light waves that travel along these paths have different phases (different optical path lengths). ARF induces displacement to scatterers within the acoustic focal volume, and changes the optical path length. In addition, temperature rise due to conversion of absorbed acoustic energy to heat, changes the index of refraction and therefore, changes the optical path length of the scattering paths. The result is a change in the speckle pattern. Results suggest that the average change in the speckle pattern measures the displacement of particles and temperature rise within the acoustic wave focal area, hence can provide mechanical and thermal properties of the medium.
Ali Vakili, Joseph A. Hollmann, R. Glynn Holt, and Charles A. DiMarzio, "Acoustic effects analysis utilizing speckle pattern with fixed-particle Monte Carlo," Proc. SPIE 9713, Three-Dimensional and Multidimensional Microscopy: Image Acquisition and Processing XXIII, 971309 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 15, 2016; Published: 9 March 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2214858.
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