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Light and sound -- the way forward for better medical imaging
Date:12/12/2007

tions that go deep into human tissue, such as breast tumours, and for contributing to the diagnosis and treatment of vascular disease.

The prototype instrument, however, has been specifically designed to image very small blood vessels (with diameters measured in tens or hundreds of microns) that are relatively close to the surface. Information generated about the distribution and density of these microvessels can in turn provide valuable data about skin tumours, vascular lesions, burns, other soft tissue damage, and even how well an area of tissue has responded to plastic surgery following an operation.

The development process has included theoretical and experimental investigations of photoacoustic interactions with soft tissue, development of appropriate computer image-reconstruction algorithms, and construction of a prototype imaging instrument incorporating the new technique.

This new system offers the prospect of safe, non-invasive medical imaging of unprecedented quality, says Dr Paul Beard who leads UCLs Photoacoustic Imaging Group. It also has the potential to be an extremely versatile, relatively inexpensive and even portable imaging option.


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Contact: Natasha Richardson
natasha.richardson@epsrc.ac.uk
44-017-934-44404
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Source:Eurekalert

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