6 March 2006 A photoacoustic imaging system employing a curved-phased ultrasonic array and parallel electronics
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Real-time photoacoustic imaging requires ultrasonic array receivers and parallel data acquisition systems for the simultaneous detection of weak photoacoustic signals. In this paper, we introduce a newly completed ultrasonic receiving array system and report preliminary results of our measured point spread function. The system employs a curved ultrasonic phased array consisting of 128-elements, which span a quarter of a complete circle. The center frequency of the array is 5 MHz and the bandwidth is greater than 60%. In order to maximize the signal-to-noise ratio for photoacoustic signal detection, we utilized special designs for the analog front-end electronics. First, the 128 transducer-element signals were routed out using a 50-Ohm impedance matching PCB board to sustain signal integrity. We also utilize 128 low-noise pre-amplifiers, connected directly to the ultrasonic transducer, to amplify the weak photoacoustic signals before they were multiplexed to a variable-gain multi-stage amplifier chain. All front-end circuits were placed close to the transducer array to minimize signal lose due to cables and therefore improve the signal-to-noise ratio. Sixteen analog-to-digital converters were used to sample signals at a rate of 40 mega-samples per second with a resolution of 10-bits per sample. This allows us to perform a complete electronic scan of all 128 elements using just eight laser pulses.
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Anastasios Maurudis, Anastasios Maurudis, Fei Huang, Fei Huang, Puyun Guo, Puyun Guo, Shikui Yan, Shikui Yan, Diego Castillo, Diego Castillo, Lihong V. Wang, Lihong V. Wang, Quing Zhu, Quing Zhu, } "A photoacoustic imaging system employing a curved-phased ultrasonic array and parallel electronics", Proc. SPIE 6086, Photons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2006: The Seventh Conference on Biomedical Thermoacoustics, Optoacoustics, and Acousto-optics, 60861Q (6 March 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.648500; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.648500

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