Photoacoustic lifetime imaging for direct in vivo tissue oxygen monitoring

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34 Scopus citations


Measuring the partial pressure of oxygen (pO2) in tissue may provide physicians with essential information about the physiological state of tissue. However, currently available methods for measuring or imaging tissue pO2 have significant limitations, preventing them from being widely used in clinics. Recently, we have reported a direct and noninvasive in vivo imaging modality based on the photoacoustic lifetime which overcomes certain drawbacks of the existing methods. The technique maps the excited triplet state of oxygen-sensitive dye, thus reflecting the spatial and temporal distributions of tissue oxygen. Here, we present two studies which apply photoacoustic lifetime imaging (PALI) to monitor changes of tissue oxygen induced by external modulations. The first study modulates tissue oxygen by controlling the percentage of oxygen a normal mouse inhales. We demonstrate that PALI is able to reflect the change in oxygen level with respect to normal, oxygen-rich, and oxygenpoor breathing conditions. The second study involves an acute ischemia model using a thin thread tied around the hindlimb of a normal mouse to reduce the blood flow. PALI images were acquired before, during, and after the restriction. The drop of tissue pO2 and recovery from hypoxia due to reperfusion were tracked and observed by PALI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number36004
JournalJournal of biomedical optics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.


  • hypoxia
  • ischemia
  • methylene blue
  • photoacoustic lifetime imaging
  • reperfusion
  • tissue oxygen


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