We report a universal back-projection formula for three-dimensional photoacoustic computed tomography in three types of imaging geometries: planar, spherical, and cylindrical surfaces. A solid-angle weighting factor is introduced in the back-projection formula to compensate for the variations of detection views. Numerical simulation demonstrates the performance of the algorithm.
We report a preliminary study of breast cancer imaging by microwave-induced thermoacoustic tomography. In this study, we built a prototype of breast cancer imager based on a circular scan mode. A 3-GHz 0.3~0.5-μs microwave is used as the excitation energy source. A 2.25-MHz ultrasound transducer scans the thermoacoustic signals. All the measured data is transferred to a personal computer for imaging based on our proposed back-projection reconstruction algorithms. We quantified the line spread function of the imaging system. It shows the spatial resolution of our experimental system reaches 0.5 mm. After phantom experiments demonstrated the principle of this technique, we moved the imaging system to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to image the excised breast cancer specimens. After the surgery performed by the physicians at the Cancer Center, the excised breast specimen was placed in a plastic cylindrical container with a diameter of 10 cm; and it was then imaged by three imaging modalities: radiograph, ultrasound and thermoacoustic imaging. Four excised breast specimens have been tested. The tumor regions have been clearly located. This preliminary study demonstrated the potential of microwave-induced thermoacoustic tomography for applications in breast cancer imaging.
We present an analytic explanation of the spatial resolution in three-dimensional photo-acoustic (also called opto-acoustic or thermo-acoustic) reconstruction. Based on rigorous reconstruction formulas, we analytically derive the point-spread functions (PSFs) for three types of specific recording geometries, including spherical, planar, and cylindrical surfaces. The PSFs as a function of the bandwidth of the measurement system and the finite size of the detector aperture, as well as the discrete sampling effect on the reconstruction, are investigated. The analyses clearly reveal that the dependence of the PSFs on the bandwidth of all of the recording geometries shares the same space-invariant expression while the dependence on the aperture size of the detector differs. The bandwidth affects both axial and lateral resolution; in contrast, the detector aperture blurs the lateral resolution greatly but the axial resolution only slightly. Under-sampling in the measurement causes significant aliasing artifacts in the reconstruction. A general sampling strategy to avoid aliasing is proposed
Thermoacoustic tomography (TAT) is an emerging imaging technique with great potential for a wide range of biomedical imaging applications. In this work, we propose and investigate reconstruction approaches for TAT that are based on the half-time reflectivity tomography paradigm. We demonstrate that half-time reconstruction approaches can produce images in TAT that possess better statistical properties than images produced by use of conventional reconstruction approaches.
A study of pulsed-microwave-induced thermoacoustic tomography in biological tissues is presented. A backprojection algorithm based on rigorous theory is used to reconstruct the cross-sectional image from the thermoacoustic measurement in a circular configuration that encloses the sample under study. The results demonstrate the possibility of application in detecting small tumors buried in biological tissues using microwave absorption contrast and ultrasound spatial resolution. Finally, the method is compared with laser-induced thermoacoustic tomography.