Photoacoustics is a promising technique for in-depth imaging of biological tissues. However, the lateral resolution of photoacoustic imaging is limited by size of the optical excitation spot, and therefore by light diffraction and scattering. Several super-resolution approaches, among which methods based on localization of labels and particles, have been suggested, presenting promising but limited solutions. This work demonstrates a novel concept for extended-resolution imaging based on separation and localization of multiple sub-pixel absorbers, each characterized by a distinct acoustic response. Sparse autoencoder algorithm is used to blindly decompose the acoustic signal into its various sources and resolve sub-pixel features. This method can be used independently or as a combination with other super-resolution techniques to gain further resolution enhancement and may also be extended to other imaging schemes. In this paper, the general idea is presented in details and experimentally demonstrated.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC, No. 21875267, 51561145004) and the President’s International Fellowship Initiative of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (PIFI2019VMA0053).
© 2020, The Author(s).