Spatiotemporal Image Reconstruction to Enable High-Frame-Rate Dynamic Photoacoustic Tomography with Rotating-Gantry Volumetric Imagers

Author(s): Refik Mert CamChao WangWeylan ThompsonSergey A. ErmilovMark A. AnastasioUmberto Villa



Dynamic photoacoustic computed tomography (PACT) is a valuable imaging technique for monitoring physiological processes. However, current dynamic PACT imaging techniques are often limited to two-dimensional spatial imaging. Although volumetric PACT imagers are commercially available, these systems typically employ a rotating measurement gantry in which the tomographic data are sequentially acquired as opposed to being acquired simultaneously at all views. Because the dynamic object varies during the data-acquisition process, the sequential data-acquisition process poses substantial challenges to image reconstruction associated with data incompleteness. The proposed image reconstruction method is highly significant in that it will address these challenges and enable volumetric dynamic PACT imaging with existing preclinical imagers.


The aim of this study is to develop a spatiotemporal image reconstruction (STIR) method for dynamic PACT that can be applied to commercially available volumetric PACT imagers that employ a sequential scanning strategy. The proposed reconstruction method aims to overcome the challenges caused by the limited number of tomographic measurements acquired per frame.


A low-rank matrix estimation-based STIR (LRME-STIR) method is proposed to enable dynamic volumetric PACT. The LRME-STIR method leverages the spatiotemporal redundancies in the dynamic object to accurately reconstruct a four-dimensional (4D) spatiotemporal image.


The conducted numerical studies substantiate the LRME-STIR method’s efficacy in reconstructing 4D dynamic images from tomographic measurements acquired with a rotating measurement gantry. The experimental study demonstrates the method’s ability to faithfully recover the flow of a contrast agent with a frame rate of 10 frames per second, even when only a single tomographic measurement per frame is available.


The proposed LRME-STIR method offers a promising solution to the challenges faced by enabling 4D dynamic imaging using commercially available volumetric PACT imagers. By enabling accurate STIRs, this method has the potential to significantly advance preclinical research and facilitate the monitoring of critical physiological biomarkers.

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