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J. Imaging 2019, 5(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/jimaging5010013

Resolution Limits in Photoacoustic Imaging Caused by Acoustic Attenuation

Research Center for Non Destructive Testing (RECENDT), Linz 4040, Austria
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Received: 27 November 2018 / Revised: 25 December 2018 / Accepted: 3 January 2019 / Published: 10 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Photoacoustic Imaging: Technologies and Methods)
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Abstract

In conventional photoacoustic tomography, several effects contribute to the loss of resolution, such as the limited bandwidth and the finite size of the transducer, or the space-dependent speed of sound. They can all be compensated (in principle) technically or numerically. Frequency-dependent acoustic attenuation also limits spatial resolution by reducing the bandwidth of the photoacoustic signal, which can be numerically compensated only up to a theoretical limit given by thermodynamics. The entropy production, which is the dissipated energy of the acoustic wave divided by the temperature, turns out to be equal to the information loss, which cannot be compensated for by any reconstruction method. This is demonstrated for the propagation of planar acoustic waves in water, which are induced by short laser pulses and measured by piezoelectric acoustical transducers. It turns out that for water, where the acoustic attenuation is proportional to the squared frequency, the resolution limit is proportional to the square root of the distance and inversely proportional to the square root of the logarithm of the signal-to-noise ratio. The proposed method could be used in future work for media other than water, such as biological tissue, where acoustic attenuation has a different power-law frequency dependence. View Full-Text
Keywords: photoacoustic imaging; ultrasound attenuation; inverse problem; image reconstruction photoacoustic imaging; ultrasound attenuation; inverse problem; image reconstruction
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Burgholzer, P.; Bauer-Marschallinger, J.; Reitinger, B.; Berer, T. Resolution Limits in Photoacoustic Imaging Caused by Acoustic Attenuation. J. Imaging 2019, 5, 13.

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