Journal of Biomedical Optics • Open AccessArtifact removal in photoacoustic section imaging by combining an integrating cylindrical detector with model-based reconstruction
Photoacoustic section imaging reveals optically absorbing structures within a thin slice of an object. It requires measuring acoustic waves excited by absorption of short laser pulses with a cylindrical acoustic lens detector rotating around the object. Owing to the finite detector size and its limited depth of focus, various artifacts arise, seen as distortions within the imaging slice and cross-talk from neighboring areas of the object. The presented solution aims at avoiding these artifacts by a special design of the sensor and by use of a model-based reconstruction algorithm that improves section images by incorporating information from neighboring sections. The integrating property of the cylindrical detector, which exceeds in direction of the cylinder axis the size of the imaged object, avoids the lateral blurring that normally results from the finite width of a small detector. Applying a maximum likelihood reconstruction method for the inversion of the imaging system matrix to the temporal pressure signals yields line projections of the initial energy distribution, from which section images are obtained by applying the inverse Radon transform. By using data from few sections, a significant reduction of artifacts related to the imperfections of the sensor is demonstrated both in simulations and in phantom experiments.