Multiscale photoacoustic tomography using reversibly switchable thermochromics.

TitleMultiscale photoacoustic tomography using reversibly switchable thermochromics.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsC Ma, X Kuang, M Chen, L Menozzi, L Jiang, Q Zhou, YS Zhang, and J Yao
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Start Page082804
Date Published08/2023

<h4>Significance</h4>Based on acoustic detection of optical absorption, photoacoustic tomography (PAT) allows functional and molecular imaging beyond the optical diffusion limit with high spatial resolution. However, multispectral functional and molecular PAT is often limited by decreased spectroscopic accuracy and reduced detection sensitivity in deep tissues, mainly due to wavelength-dependent optical attenuation and inaccurate acoustic inversion.<h4>Aim</h4>Previous work has demonstrated that reversible color-shifting can drastically improve the detection sensitivity of PAT by suppressing nonswitching background signals. We aim to develop a new color switching-based PAT method using reversibly switchable thermochromics (ReST).<h4>Approach</h4>We developed a family of ReST with excellent water dispersion, biostability, and temperature-controlled color changes by surface modification of commercial thermochromic microcapsules with the hydrophilic polysaccharide alginate.<h4>Results</h4>The optical absorbance of the ReST was switched on and off repeatedly by modulating the surrounding temperature, allowing differential photoacoustic detection that effectively suppressed the nonswitching background signal and substantially improved image contrast and detection sensitivity. We demonstrate reversible thermal-switching imaging of ReST <i>in vitro</i> and <i>in vivo</i> using three PAT modes at different length scales.<h4>Conclusions</h4>ReST-enabled PAT is a promising technology for high-sensitivity deep tissue imaging of molecular activity in temperature-related biomedical applications, such as cancer thermotherapy.

Short TitleJournal of Biomedical Optics