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Journal of Biomedical Optics

Two-layer heterogeneous breast phantom for photoacoustic imaging
Author(s): Congxian Jia; William C. Vogt; Keith A. Wear; T. Joshua Pfefer; Brian S. Garra
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Paper Abstract

Photoacoustic tomography (PAT) is emerging as a potentially important aid for breast cancer detection. Well-validated tissue-simulating phantoms are needed for objective, quantitative, and physically realistic testing for system development. Prior reported PAT phantoms with homogenous structures do not incorporate the irregular layered structure of breast tissue. To assess the impact of this simplification, we design and construct two-layer breast phantoms incorporating vessel-simulating inclusions and realistic undulations at the fat/fibroglandular tissue interface. The phantoms are composed of custom poly(vinyl chloride) plastisol formulations mimicking the acoustic properties of two breast tissue types and tissue-relevant similar optical properties. Resulting PAT images demonstrate that in tissue with acoustic heterogeneity, lateral size of imaging targets is sensitive to the choice of sound speed in image reconstruction. The undulating boundary can further degrade a target’s lateral size due to sound speed variation in tissue and refraction of sound waves at the interface. The extent of this degradation is also influenced by the geometric relationship between an absorber and the boundary. Results indicate that homogeneous phantom matrixes may underestimate the degradation of PAT image quality in breast tissue, whereas heterogeneous phantoms can provide more realistic testing through improved reproduction of spatial variations in physical properties.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 October 2017
PDF: 14 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 22(10) 106011 doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.22.10.106011
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 22, Issue 10
Show Author Affiliations
Congxian Jia, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (United States)
William C. Vogt, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (United States)
Keith A. Wear, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (United States)
T. Joshua Pfefer, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (United States)
Brian S. Garra, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (United States)


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