Although the Photo Acoustic effect was observed by Graham Bell in 1880, the first applications (gas analysis) occurred in 1970’s using the required energetic light pulses from lasers. During mid 1990’s medical imaging research begun to use Photo Acoustic effect and in vivo images were obtained in mid-2000. Since 2009, the number of patent related to Photo Acoustic Imaging (PAI) has dramatically increased. PAI machines for pre-clinical and small animal imaging have been being used in a routine way for several years. Based on its very interesting features (non-ionizing radiation, noninvasive, high depth resolution ratio, scalability, moderate price) and because it is able to deliver not only anatomical, but functional and molecular information, PAI is a very promising clinical imaging modality. It penetrates deeper into tissue than OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) and provides a higher resolution than ultrasounds. The PAI is one of the most growing imaging modality and some innovative clinical systems are planned to be on market in 2017. Our study analyzes the different approaches such as photoacoustic computed tomography, 3D photoacoustic microscopy, multispectral photoacoustic tomography and endoscopy with the recent and tremendous technological progress over the past decade: advances in image reconstruction algorithms, laser technology, ultrasound detectors and miniaturization. We analyze which medical domains and applications are the most concerned and explain what should be the forthcoming medical system in the near future. We segment the market in four parts: Components and R&D, pre-clinical, analytics, clinical. We analyzed what should be, quantitatively and qualitatively, the PAI medical markets in each segment and its main trends. We point out the market accessibility (patents, regulations, clinical evaluations, clinical acceptance, funding). In conclusion, we explain the main market drivers and challenges to overcome and give a road map for medical approved PAI products.
Selective dermal remodeling using diode or 1.32 micrometer Nd:YAG lasers has been recently proposed for skin rejuvenation. This new technique consists in inducing collagen tightening and/or neocollagen synthesis without significant damage of the overlying epidermis. Such an approach requires (1) a cooling system in order to target dermal collagen with relatively good protection of the epidermal layer, (2) a specific wavelength for confining the thermal damage into the upper dermis (100 to 400 micrometer). Based on previous studies, demonstrating a better water absorption and a reduced melanin absorption at 1.54 micrometer compared to the 1.32 micrometer, this experimental study aimed to evaluate a new laser (co-doped Yb-Er:phosphate glass material, Aramis, Quantel-France) emitting at 1.54 micrometer. This laser was used in combination with the Dermacool system (Dermacool, Mableton, USA) in order to achieve epidermis cooling before, during and after irradiation. Male hairless rats were used for the study. Pulse train irradiation (1.1 J, 3 Hz, 30 pulses) and different cooling temperatures (+5 degree(s)C, 0 degree(s)C, -5 degree(s)C) were screened with clinical examination and histological evaluation at 1, 3, and 7 days after laser irradiation. The clinical effects showed that pulse train irradiation produced reproducible epidermal preservation and confinement of the thermal damage into the dermis. The different cooling temperatures did not provide detectable differences in terms of size and depth of thermal damage. New collagen synthesis was confirmed by a marked fibroblastic proliferation, detected in the lower dermis at D3 and clearly seen in the upper dermis at D7. This new laser appears to be a promising new tool for the treatment of skin laxity, solar elastosis, facial rhytids and mild reduction of wrinkles.
In meteorological and climatological fields, the scientific community will increasingly need global measurements of key atmospheric parameters with high spatial resolution (horizontal as well as vertical): the spaceborne lidars are the most suitable instruments for those missions. While backscatter lidar (ATLID, currently studied as ESA) is presently first candidate for space deployment, the next generation of lidars will be DIAL and Doppler wind lidars, presenting a higher level of complexity, mainly due to the large power and complex signal processing required. The present considered wind lidars are based on CO<SUB>2</SUB> lasers, whose space compliance still needs confirmation, while alexandrite lasers are considered for water vapor and temperature measurements, but they need flashlamp pumping which poses a lot of several thermal constraints and lifetime problems: on the other side, the recent developments achieved in solid-state technology allow to envisage diode pumping as most promising possibility for both previous applications.