Minimally invasive thermal therapy is being investigated as an alternative cancer treatment. It involves heating tissues to greater than 55°C over a period of a few minutes, which results in tissue coagulation. Optoacoustic (OA) imaging is a new imaging technique that involves exposing tissues to pulsed light and detecting the acoustic waves that are generated. In this study, adult bovine liver tissue samples were heated using continuous wave laser energy for various times, then scanned using an optoacoustic imaging system. Large optoacoustic signal variability was observed in the native tissue prior to heating. OA signal amplitude increased with maximum tissue temperature achieved, characterized by a correlation coefficient of 0.63. In this study we show that there are detectable changes in optoacoustic signal strength that arise from tissue coagulation, which demonstrates the potential of optoacoustic technology for the monitoring of thermal therapy delivery.
Arsenault, Michel G.; Kolios, Michael C.; and Whelan, William M., "Optoacoustic Detection of Thermal Lesions" (2009). Physics Publications and Research. Paper 14.