Photoacoustic microscopy (PAM), the imaging technique that generates acoustic waves caused by thermal expansion due to optical absorption, has been successfully utilized to provide absorption-based contrast at unparalleled depths. Recent advancements in PAM have enabled contrast-free image reconstructions of subcellular components with exceptional resolution. However, traditional PAM techniques still require a transducer to be in direct contact with the sample or a coupling medium to enable signal acquisition. This leads to poor translation into clinical applications.
Researchers at Arizona State University have developed an unprecedented new form of non-contact, all-optical PAM technology for precisely mapping tissue biomechanics. This technology enables the biomechanical properties of cells and tissues to be measured with sub-micron diffraction-limited resolution without the need for a transducer or coupling medium. Utilization of this non-contact PAM technology provides for mechanobiology interrogations at greater tissue depths with dramatically reduced signal acquisition times, improving the feasibility for clinical applications.
This technology could be a superior non-contact method of optical detection of the photoacoustic effect, enabling the next generation of PAM.
Benefits and Advantages
Does not require transducer in contact with the sample or a coupling medium
Can determine biomechanical properties of the cornea non-invasively
Dramatically reduced imaging time
May enable submicron-resolution intracellular imaging of molecules
Contrast free – DNA, RNA, the cytoplasm, and myelin sheath have strong absorption peaks in the UV, visible and NIR range and can act as endogenous chromophores
Increases clinical translation of PAM
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