Research Papers

Label-free photoacoustic tomography of whole mouse brain structures ex vivo

[+] Author Affiliations
Lei Li, Lihong V. Wang

Washington University in St. Louis, Department of Electrical and System Engineering, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, Missouri 63130, United States

Washington University in St. Louis, Department of Biomedical Engineering, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, Missouri 63130, United States

Jun Xia

University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, Department of Biomedical Engineering, 332 Bonner Hall, Buffalo, New York 14260, United States

Guo Li, Alejandro Garcia-Uribe, Qiwei Sheng, Mark A. Anastasio

Washington University in St. Louis, Department of Biomedical Engineering, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, Missouri 63130, United States

Neurophoton. 3(3), 035001 (Jul 26, 2016). doi:10.1117/1.NPh.3.3.035001
History: Received May 19, 2016; Accepted July 6, 2016
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Abstract.  Capitalizing on endogenous hemoglobin contrast, photoacoustic-computed tomography (PACT), a deep-tissue high-resolution imaging modality, has drawn increasing interest in neuroimaging. However, most existing studies are limited to functional imaging on the cortical surface and the deep brain structural imaging capability of PACT has never been demonstrated. Here, we explicitly studied the limiting factors of deep brain PACT imaging. We found that the skull distorted the acoustic signal and blood suppressed the structural contrast from other chromophores. When the two effects are mitigated, PACT can potentially provide high-resolution label-free imaging of structures in the entire mouse brain. With 100-μm in-plane resolution, we can clearly identify major structures of the brain, which complements magnetic resonance microscopy for imaging small-animal brain structures. Spectral PACT studies indicate that structural contrasts mainly originate from cytochrome distribution and that the presence of lipid sharpens the image contrast; brain histology results provide further validation. The feasibility of imaging the structure of the brain in vivo is also discussed. Our results demonstrate that PACT is a promising modality for both structural and functional brain imaging.

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© 2016 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Lei Li ; Jun Xia ; Guo Li ; Alejandro Garcia-Uribe ; Qiwei Sheng, et al.
"Label-free photoacoustic tomography of whole mouse brain structures ex vivo", Neurophoton. 3(3), 035001 (Jul 26, 2016). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.NPh.3.3.035001


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