SIP-PACT tracks whole-body dynamics in real time

Source: Medical Physic Web, June 2017

Photoacoustic computed tomography (PACT) is an optical imaging technology used for whole-body imaging of small laboratory animals. A new single-impulse panoramic PACT (SIP-PACT) system is enabling researchers to perform high-resolution in vivo imaging of whole-body dynamics of small animals in real time. The system combines high spatiotemporal resolution, deep penetration, anatomical, dynamical and functional contrasts, and full-view fidelity (Nature Biomed. Eng. 1 0071).

The system has enabled the capture of structural, functional, cellular and molecular small-animal whole-body images with unprecedented speed and quality, according to its developers at California Institute of Technology (Caltech). They have used the system to track cancerous melanoma cells travelling through the blood vessels of a mouse, as well as to watch entire neural networks fire in real time.

Project lead Lihong Wang and co-authors designed a circular ultrasound detector and a fast data-acquisition system with the ability to triangulate the origin of an ultrasonic wave from any location within the animal’s body. The system employs 512-element full-ring acoustic detection with simultaneous one-to-one mapped preamplification and analogue-to-digital sampling.

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