Accelerated high-resolution photoacoustic tomography via compressed sensing
Physics in Medicine and Biology
Current 3D photoacoustic tomography (PAT) systems offer either high image quality or high frame rates but are not able to deliver high spatial and temporal resolution simultaneously, which limits their ability to image dynamic processes in living tissue. A particular example is the planar Fabry-Perot (FP) scanner, which yields high-resolution images but takes several minutes to sequentially map the photoacoustic field on the sensor plane, point-by-point. However, as the spatio-temporal
... y of many absorbing tissue structures is rather low, the data recorded in such a conventional, regularly sampled fashion is often highly redundant. We demonstrate that combining variational image reconstruction methods using spatial sparsity constraints with the development of novel PAT acquisition systems capable of sub-sampling the acoustic wave field can dramatically increase the acquisition speed while maintaining a good spatial resolution: First, we describe and model two general spatial sub-sampling schemes. Then, we discuss how to implement them using the FP scanner and demonstrate the potential of these novel compressed sensing PAT devices through simulated data from a realistic numerical phantom and through measured data from a dynamic experimental phantom as well as from in-vivo experiments. Our results show that images with good spatial resolution and contrast can be obtained from highly sub-sampled PAT data if variational image reconstruction methods that describe the tissues structures with suitable sparsity-constraints are used. In particular, we examine the use of total variation regularization enhanced by Bregman iterations. These novel reconstruction strategies offer new opportunities to dramatically increase the acquisition speed of PAT scanners that employ point-by-point sequential scanning as well as reducing the channel count of parallelized schemes that use detector arrays.