available on 2024-09-29
Author(s): Vinoin Devpaul Vincely, Carolyn L Bayer
The placenta, a highly vascularized interface between the mother and fetus, undergoes dramatic anatomical and functional changes during pregnancy. These changes occur both during healthy development and adverse pathologies of pregnancy, such as preeclampsia. Abnormal placental development can lead to life-long health impacts on both the mother and child. Photoacoustic (PA) imaging, extensively developed for preclinical imaging applications in oncology and cardiovascular disease, uses optical energy to generate acoustic waves through thermoelastic expansion of light-absorbing chromophores within tissue. Recently, photoacoustic imaging has been used to study preclinical placental anatomy and function. If clinical translation of photoacoustic imaging of the placenta is achieved, the impact on maternal-fetal health could be expansive. This perspective highlights the recent progress in photoacoustic imaging for placental monitoring and discusses the progress needed for human clinical translation.