Journal of Medical ImagingHybrid-modality ocular imaging using a clinical ultrasound system and nanosecond pulsed laser
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Hybrid optical modality imaging is a special type of multimodality imaging significantly used in the recent past in order to harness the strengths of different imaging methods as well as to furnish complementary information beyond that provided by any individual method. We present a hybrid-modality imaging system based on a commercial clinical ultrasound imaging (USI) system using a linear array ultrasound transducer (UST) and a tunable nanosecond pulsed laser as the source. The integrated system uses photoacoustic imaging (PAI) and USI for ocular imaging to provide the complementary absorption and structural information of the eye. In this system, B-mode images from PAI and USI are acquired at 10 Hz and about 40 Hz, respectively. A linear array UST makes the system much faster compared to other ocular imaging systems using a single-element UST to form B-mode images. The results show that the proposed instrumentation is able to incorporate PAI and USI in a single setup. The feasibility and efficiency of this developed probe system was illustrated by using enucleated pig eyes as test samples. It was demonstrated that PAI could successfully capture photoacoustic signals from the iris, anterior lens surface, and posterior pole, while USI could accomplish the mapping of the eye to reveal the structures like the cornea, anterior chamber, lens, iris, and posterior pole. This system and the proposed methodology are expected to enable ocular disease diagnostic applications and can be used as a preclinical imaging system.