Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Medical Biophysics


Dr. Jeffrey J.L. Carson


Photoacoustic tomography (PAT) is an emerging imaging modality capable of mapping optical absorption in tissues. It is a hybrid technique that combines the high spatial resolution of ultrasound imaging with the high contrast of optical imaging, and has demonstrated much potential in biomedical applications. Conventional PAT systems employ raster scanning to capture a large number of projections, thus improving image reconstruction at the cost of temporal resolution. Arising from the desire for real-time 3D PA imaging, several groups have begun to design PAT systems with staring arrays, where image acquisition is only limited by the repetition rate of the laser. However, there has been little emphasis on staring array design analysis and optimization. We have developed objective figures of merit for PAT system performance and applied these metrics to improve system design. The results suggested that the developed approach could be used to objectively characterize and improve any PAT system design.