Researchers are close to commercializing a new type of medical imaging technology that could diagnose cardiovascular disease by measuring ultrasound signals from molecules exposed to a fast-pulsing laser.
This image is taken using a new type of medical imaging technology that could diagnose cardiovascular disease by measuring ultrasound signals from molecules exposed to a fast-pulsing laser. The system, called intravascular photoacoustic imaging, takes precise three-dimensional images of plaques lining arteries and identifies deposits that are likely to rupture and cause heart attacks. This cross-sectional view of an artery shows lipids (green) deposited inside the arterial wall. Black and white indicate contrast showing the cross-sectional geometry.
Credit: Purdue University Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering image/Ji-Xin Cheng
The Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization has filed a U.S. patent application.
Funding sources for the research include the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association.
High-speed Intravascular Photoacoustic Imaging of Lipid-laden Atherosclerotic Plaque Enabled by a 2-kHz Barium Nitrite Raman Laser
Pu Wang 1,#, Teng Ma2,#, Mikhail N. Slipchenko1,3,#, Shanshan Liang4,5,#, Jie Hui6, K. Kirk Shung2, Sukesh Roy3, Michael Sturek7,, Qifa Zhou2, Zhongping Chen4, and Ji-Xin Cheng1,
1Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, 2School of Mechanical Engineering; 2Department of Biomedical Engineering, NIH Ultrasonic Transducer Resource Center, University of Southern California, Los Angeles; 3Spectral Energy, LLC, Dayton, Ohio; 4Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Irvine; 5Beckman Laser Institute, University of California, Irvine and Edwards Lifesciences Center for Advanced Cardiovascular Technology; 6Physics Department, Purdue University; 7 Department of Cellular & Integrative Physiology, Indiana University School of Medicine
Lipid deposition inside the arterial wall is a key indicator of plaque vulnerability. An intravascular photoacoustic (IVPA) catheter is considered a promising device for quantifying the amount of lipid inside the arterial wall. Thus far, IVPA systems suffered from slow imaging speed (~50 s per frame) due to the lack of a suitable laser source for high-speed excitation of molecular overtone vibrations. Here, we report an improvement in IVPA imaging speed by two orders of magnitude, to 1.0 s per frame, enabled by a custom-built, 2-kHz master oscillator power amplifier (MOPA)-pumped, barium nitrite [Ba(NO3)2] Raman laser. This advancement narrows the gap in translating the IVPA technology to the clinical setting.