Some of the challenges in translating photoacoustic (PA) imaging to clinical applications includes limited view of the target tissue, low signal to noise ratio and the high cost of developing real-time systems. Acoustic lens based PA imaging systems, also known as PA cameras are a potential alternative to conventional imaging systems in these scenarios. The 3D focusing action of lens enables real-time C-scan imaging with a 2D transducer array. In this paper, we model the underlying physics in a PA camera in the mathematical framework of an imaging system and derive a closed form expression for the point spread function (PSF). Experimental verification follows including the details on how to design and fabricate the lens inexpensively. The system PSF is evaluated over a 3D volume that can be imaged by this PA camera. Its utility is demonstrated by imaging phantom and an ex vivo human prostate tissue sample.
Francis, K. J., Chinni, B., Channappayya, S. S., Pachamuthu, R., Dogra, V. S., & Rao, N. (2017). Characterization of lens based photoacoustic imaging system. Photoacoustics, 8, 37–47. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pacs.2017.09.003