High-speed three-dimensional photoacoustic computed tomography for preclinical research and clinical translation

Authors: Li Lin1,4, Peng Hu1,4, Xin Tong1,4, Rui Cao1, Xiaoyun Yuan1,2, David C. Garrett1, Junhui Shi1,3, Konstantin Maslov1 & Lihong V. Wang1


Photoacoustic computed tomography (PACT) has generated increasing interest for uses in preclinical research and clinical translation. However, the imaging depth, speed, and quality of existing PACT systems have previously limited the potential applications of this technology.
To overcome these issues, we developed a three-dimensional photoacoustic computed tomography (3D-PACT) system that features large imaging depth, scalable field of view with isotropic spatial resolution, high imaging speed, and superior image quality. 3D-PACT allows for multipurpose imaging to reveal detailed angiographic information in biological tissues ranging from the rodent brain to the human breast. In the rat brain, we visualize whole brain vasculatures and hemodynamics. In the human breast, an in vivo imaging depth of 4 cm is achieved by scanning the breast within a single breath hold of 10 s. Here, we introduce the 3D-PACT system to provide a unique tool for preclinical research and an appealing prototype for clinical translation.