Ultrasound-emitting light may power real-time, whole-body imaging

Researchers at Duke and Caltech have combined photoacoustic imaging with ultrasound to real-time image multiple anatomic activities in mice. They’re calling their innovation SIP-PACT, for single-impulse photoacoustic computed tomography, and they have whole-body imaging of humans in mind.

“This approach is especially powerful because it does not rely on the injection of any type of contrast agent,” Junjie Yao, PhD, of Duke says in an article published online for Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering. “You can be sure that changes are not caused by foreign variables. We think that this technology holds great potential for both pre-clinical imaging and clinical translation.”

SIP-PACT works by sending a burst of light that causes cells to emit ultrasound waves. The team successfully harnessed this effect to show it’s possible to “peer up to five centimeters into the typical biological tissue with sub-millimeter-level resolution while retaining the functional information provided by traditional optical microscopy,” as explained by Duke’s news department.

Yao and colleagues published their findings in a paper available in full for free in Nature Biomedical Engineering.

Click the link to read the Duke article: