Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Super-resolution photoacoustic microscopy finds clogged blood vessels


200 years ago, a doctor from France used a stethoscope for the first time and countless efforts to observe human body have been made since then. Up to now, the best tool that provides anatomical, functional, and molecular information of human and animal is the photoacoustic microscopy. Super-resolution localization photoacoustic microscopy which is 500 times faster than the conventional photoacoustic microscopy system is developed by the research team from POSTECH in Korea.

Professor Chulhong Kim of Creative IT Engineering from POSTECH with Jinyoung Kim, a research professor and Jongbeom Kim, a PhD student presented a fast photoacoustic microscopy system with custom-made scanning mirror in the international journal published by Nature, Light: Science and Applications.

Photoacoustic images of microvessels in the ears, eyes, and brains of mice captured by the newly developed photoacoustic microscopy

Credit: Chulhong Kim (POSTECH)

This newly developed microscopy uses a stable and commercial galvanometer scanner with a custom-made scanning mirror and can find blocked or burst blood vessels by monitoring the flow of red blood cells without using a contrast absorber.

The photoacoustic microscopy images cells, blood vessels, and tissues by inducing vibrations when the optic energy is converted to heat after an object absorbs light from the laser beam fired.

The conventional photoacoustic microscopy systems using a galvanometer scanner have a narrow field of view because they do not scan photoacoustic waves but only the optical beam. The conventional photoacoustic microscopy systems using a linear motorized stage also have temporal limitation in making images.

The research team developed a new photoacoustic microscopy system with improved performances. It can scan both photoacoustic waves and optical beams simultaneously as they implemented the custom-made scanning mirror in the existing photoacoustic microscopy system. Also, it can monitor very small vessels using intrinsic red blood cells without a contrast absorber which helps the system to image blood vessels well.

Furthermore, the new system is 500 times faster than that of the conventional ones. With this improvement, it can demonstrate super-resolution image by localizing photoacoustic signals and the spatial resolution is enhanced by 2.5 times.

Their research accomplishment is meaningful in many ways. Especially, this system is expected to be very promising in diagnosis and treatment of stroke and cardiovascular disease. Because it can monitor and image the blood vessels with the flow of blood cells in real time, it can also be used in vascular disease which needs urgent diagnosis and treatment.

Moreover, it allows direct monitoring of hemodynamics in the microvessels. It is anticipated to be applied in various fields including hemodynamic response, contrast agent dynamics in blood vessels and transient microcirculatory abnormalities.

Professor Chulhong Kim said, "We successfully imaged microvessels in the ears, eyes, and brains of mice and a human fingertip with this new photoacoustic microscopy system. What we have developed can be a complimentary tool to the conventional brain imaging system and it can also be a promising tool for future preclinical and clinical studies."


This research was financially supported by Ministry of Science and ICT, Korea, under the ICT Consilience Creative Program. It was also supported by the Pioneer Research Center Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT and Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Education.

Media Contact

Jinyoung Huh

Jinyoung Huh | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A new 'cool' blue
17.01.2020 | American Chemical Society

nachricht Neuromuscular organoid: It’s contracting!
17.01.2020 | Max-Delbrück-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Miniature double glazing: Material developed which is heat-insulating and heat-conducting at the same time

Styrofoam or copper - both materials have very different properties with regard to their ability to conduct heat. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz and the University of Bayreuth have now jointly developed and characterized a novel, extremely thin and transparent material that has different thermal conduction properties depending on the direction. While it can conduct heat extremely well in one direction, it shows good thermal insulation in the other direction.

Thermal insulation and thermal conduction play a crucial role in our everyday lives - from computer processors, where it is important to dissipate heat as...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer IAF establishes an application laboratory for quantum sensors

In order to advance the transfer of research developments from the field of quantum sensor technology into industrial applications, an application laboratory is being established at Fraunhofer IAF. This will enable interested companies and especially regional SMEs and start-ups to evaluate the innovation potential of quantum sensors for their specific requirements. Both the state of Baden-Württemberg and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft are supporting the four-year project with one million euros each.

The application laboratory is being set up as part of the Fraunhofer lighthouse project »QMag«, short for quantum magnetometry. In this project, researchers...

Im Focus: How Cells Assemble Their Skeleton

Researchers study the formation of microtubules

Microtubules, filamentous structures within the cell, are required for many important processes, including cell division and intracellular transport. A...

Im Focus: World Premiere in Zurich: Machine keeps human livers alive for one week outside of the body

Researchers from the University Hospital Zurich, ETH Zurich, Wyss Zurich and the University of Zurich have developed a machine that repairs injured human livers and keep them alive outside the body for one week. This breakthrough may increase the number of available organs for transplantation saving many lives of patients with severe liver diseases or cancer.

Until now, livers could be stored safely outside the body for only a few hours. With the novel perfusion technology, livers - and even injured livers - can now...

Im Focus: SuperTIGER on its second prowl -- 130,000 feet above Antarctica

A balloon-borne scientific instrument designed to study the origin of cosmic rays is taking its second turn high above the continent of Antarctica three and a half weeks after its launch.

SuperTIGER (Super Trans-Iron Galactic Element Recorder) is designed to measure the rare, heavy elements in cosmic rays that hold clues about their origins...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

11th Advanced Battery Power Conference, March 24-25, 2020 in Münster/Germany

16.01.2020 | Event News

Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing

15.01.2020 | Event News

„Advanced Battery Power“- Conference, Contributions are welcome!

07.01.2020 | Event News

Latest News

A new 'cool' blue

17.01.2020 | Life Sciences

EU-project SONAR: Better batteries for electricity from renewable energy sources

17.01.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Neuromuscular organoid: It’s contracting!

17.01.2020 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>