A team led by Jiang Yuxin, Yang Meng from the Department of Medical Ultrasonics, PUMCH, working together with Mindray and Peking University, successfully developed two sets of new-type photoacoustic functional imaging devices, and researched into the diagnosis of more than 100 cases of thyroid, breast tumors. They are expected to be a new weapon in their diagnosis.
New type photoacoustic functional imaging is a focus of research and development in the international imaging field. In photoacoustic imaging (PAI), non-ionizing laser pulses are delivered into biological tissues . Some of the delivered energy will be absorbed and converted into heat, leading to transient thermoelastic expansion and thus wideband ultrasonic emission. The generated ultrasonic waves are detected by ultrasonic transducers and then analyzed to produce images. According to Associate Professor Yang Meng, the biggest advantage of PAI is functional imaging to examine haemodynamic indicators, as blood supply is one of the most important indicators telling benign/malignant tumors; although PAI cannot fully replace existing ultrasonics, it may serve as a new weapon for some difficult cases; it can be applied to the benign/malignant telling of thyroid, breast tumors, melanoma and ovarian tumor, and also provide supplementary and differential information for the diagnosis of inflammatory arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.
So far the world has not seen many teams on the clinical application of PAI, and high-definition, real-time photoacoustic and color ultrasound images are not available. Since 2013, the team has been bending on the self-development of PAI devices, and build a double mode (2D photoacoustic, ultrasound) real-time imaging device and the world' s first automatic scanning double mode (3D photoacoustic, ultrasound) imaging device. A clinical application on more than 60 cases of human breast tumors of 3D photoacoustic/ultrasound imaging verified parameters for diagnosis and is of clinical value on the telling of benign/malignant breast tumors.
The team has applied for an international invention patent in 2018, and the findings were published in Biomedical Optics Express. According to Yang, the team is now focusing on pelvic photoacoustic multi-modal imaging devices for obstetrics and gynecology, so as to translate research results into clinical diagnosis capability.
Tumors presented in automatic scanning 3D photoacoustic/ ultrasound imaging device. Left: Malignant. Right: Benign