Photoacoustic Imaging (PAI) is based upon the photo-acoustic effect, whereby a material absorbing light and emits acoustic waves. It involves exciting tissue with laser pulses of suitable wavelength. When absorbed by chromophores in the tissue, the excitation generates heat leading to transient expansion of the material with accompanied emission of ultrasound that can be detected with an ultrasonic transducer. Both endogenous chromophores, such as oxy-haemoglobin and deoxy-haemoglobin, and exogenous contrast agents can be used, enabling PAI to provide multifaceted data containing both structural and functional information.
PAI is currently one of the most rapidly developing biomedical imaging techniques, providing non‐invasive, real‐time high‐resolution images of the structure and function of tissue.
A Visualsonics Vevo Lazr‐x photoacoustic imaging (PAI) system has recently been acquired, thanks to a generous grant from the Lundberg Foundation, and has been installed in the new bio‐imaging laboratory at the Department of Ophthalmology in Lund. More information about PAI can be found at Lund University Photoacoustic Center.
An interdisciplinary PAI research team has been established including representatives from the Faculty of Medicin and the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University, to ensure a solid technical platform and the expertise required to translate PAI from the laboratory setting into clinical practice.