August 2001

Document Type


Degree Name



Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Oregon Health & Science University


Photoacoustic phenomenon in tissue and tissue phantoms is investigated with the particular goal of discrimination of diseased and healthy tissue. Propagation of broadband photoacoustic sources in tissue phantoms is studied with emphasis on attenuation, dispersion, and diffraction. Attenuation of photoacoustic waves induced by a circular laser spot on an absorber/air interface is modeled by the on-axis approximation of the acoustic field of a baffled piston source. Dispersion is studied in a diffraction free situation, where the disk of irradiation was created by a 5 mm laser spot on a 200 cm[superscript -1] solution. The genesis of diffraction in an absorbing solution was displayed by showing the merging of a boundary wave with a plane wave from a circular laser spot on an absorbing solution. Depth profiling of absorbing tissue phantoms and stained tissue was shown using a photoacoustic method. Acrylamide gels with layers of different optical absorption and stained elastin biomaterials were irradiated with stress confined laser pulses. The resulting acoustic waves were detected with a lithium niobate wideband acoustic transducer and processed in an algorithm to determine absorption coefficient as a function of depth. Spherical photoacoustic sources were generated in optically clear and turbid tissue phantoms. Propagation time and acoustic pulse duration were used to determine location and size, respectively. The photoacoustic sources were imaged using a multiplicative backprojection scheme. Image sources from acoustic boundaries were detected and dipole sources were detected and imaged. Finally, an endoscopic photoacoustic probe was designed, built, and tested for use in determining treatment depth after palliative photodynamic therapy of esophageal cancer. The probe was less than 2.5 mm in diameter and consisted of a side firing 600 µm optical fiber to deliver laser energy and a 890 µm diameter, side viewing piezoelectric detector. The sensitivity of the probe was determined. The probe was also tested on coagulated and non-coagulated liver, ex vivo and on normally perfused and underperfused human skin, in vivo.




OGI School of Science and Engineering



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