Photoacoustic tomography is a contrast agent-free imaging technique capable of visualizing blood vessels and tumor-associated vascularization in breast tissue. While sophisticated breast imaging systems have been recently developed, there is yet much to be gained in imaging depth, image quality and tissue characterization capability before clinical translation is possible. In response, we have developed a hybrid photoacoustic and ultrasound-transmission tomographic system PAM3. The photoacoustic component has for the first time three-dimensional multi-wavelength imaging capability, and implements substantial technical advancements in critical hardware and software sub-systems. The ultrasound component enables for the first time, a three-dimensional sound speed map of the breast to be incorporated in photoacoustic reconstruction to correct for inhomogeneities, enabling accurate target recovery. The results demonstrate the deepest photoacoustic breast imaging to date namely 48 mm, with a more uniform field of view than hitherto, and an isotropic spatial resolution that rivals that of Magnetic Resonance Imaging. The in vivo performance achieved, and the diagnostic value of interrogating angiogenesis-driven optical contrast as well as tumor mass sound speed contrast, gives confidence in the system's clinical potential.
Computational Imaging

M. Dantuma, Lucka, F., Kruitwagen, S., Javaherian, A., Alink, L., R.P. Pompe van Meerdervoort, … Budisky, J. (2023). Fully three-dimensional sound speed-corrected multi-wavelength photoacoustic breast tomography. doi:10.48550/arXiv.2308.06754