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Advances in real-time multispectral optoacoustic imaging and its applications


Optoacoustic imaging, or photoacoustic imaging, is insensitive to photon scattering within biological tissue and, unlike conventional optical imaging methods, makes high-resolution optical visualization deep within tissue possible. Recent advances in laser technology, detection strategies and inversion techniques have led to significant improvements in the capabilities of optoacoustic systems. A key empowering feature is the development of video-rate multispectral imaging in two and three dimensions, which offers fast, spectral differentiation of distinct photoabsorbing moieties. We review recent advances and capabilities in the technology and its corresponding emerging biological and clinical applications.

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Figure 1: Optoacoustic imaging of the local absorption of light by tissue chromophores or photoabsorbing agents and labelled cells gives rise to ultrasound waves.
Figure 2: Noninvasive optoacoustic imaging on humans.
Figure 3: Optoacoustic views at the mesoscopic scale.


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We would like to thank Professor Simon Cherry (UC Davis), Mert Erkan and Stratis Tzoumas for useful discussions. A.T. acknowledges a Research Fellowship from the German Research Foundation (DFG). V.N. acknowledges funding from the DFG (SFB-824), the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the DFG, and the European Commission project FAMOS (FP7 ICT).

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Correspondence to Vasilis Ntziachristos.

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V.N. is a founder of iThera Medical GmbH, a company that commercializes optoacoustic technology.

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Taruttis, A., Ntziachristos, V. Advances in real-time multispectral optoacoustic imaging and its applications. Nature Photon 9, 219–227 (2015).

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