Wavefront shaping and its application to enhance photoacoustic imaging

Zhipeng Yu, Huanhao Li, Puxiang Lai (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Since its introduction to the field in mid-1990s, photoacoustic imaging has become a fast-developing biomedical imaging modality with many promising potentials. By converting absorbed diffused light energy into not-so-diffused ultrasonic waves, the reconstruction of the ultrasonic waves from the targeted area in photoacoustic imaging leads to a high-contrast sensing of optical absorption with ultrasonic resolution in deep tissue, overcoming the optical diffusion limit from the signal detection perspective. The generation of photoacoustic signals, however, is still throttled by the attenuation of photon flux due to the strong diffusion effect of light in tissue. Recently, optical wavefront shaping has demonstrated that multiply scattered light could be manipulated so as to refocus inside a complex medium, opening up new hope to tackle the fundamental limitation. In this paper, the principle and recent development of photoacoustic imaging and optical wavefront shaping are briefly introduced. Then we describe how photoacoustic signals can be used as a guide star for in-tissue optical focusing, and how such focusing can be exploited for further enhancing photoacoustic imaging in terms of sensitivity and penetration depth. Finally, the existing challenges and further directions towards in vivo applications are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1320
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2017


  • Grueneisen effect
  • Iterative optimization
  • Noninvasive internal guide star
  • Optical diffusion limit
  • Optical scattering
  • Penetration depth
  • Photoacoustic imaging
  • Transmission matrix
  • Wavefront shaping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes

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