Photoacoustic imaging is a hybrid imaging modality that offers the advantages of optical (spectroscopic contrast) and ultrasound imaging (scalable spatial resolution and imaging depth). This promising modality has shown excellent potential in a wide range of preclinical and clinical imaging and sensing applications. Even though photoacoustic imaging technology has matured in research settings, its clinical translation is not happening at the expected pace. One of the main reasons for this is the requirement of bulky and expensive pulsed lasers for excitation. To accelerate the clinical translation of photoacoustic imaging and explore its potential in resource-limited settings, it is of paramount importance to develop portable and affordable light sources that can be used as the excitation light source. In this review, we focus on the following aspects: (1) the basic theory of photoacoustic imaging; (2) inexpensive light sources and different implementations; and (3) important preclinical and clinical applications, demonstrated using affordable light source-based photoacoustics. The main focus will be on laser diodes and light-emitting diodes as they have demonstrated promise in photoacoustic tomography—the key technological developments in these areas will be thoroughly reviewed. We believe that this review will be a useful opus for both the beginners and experts in the field of biomedical photoacoustic imaging.
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|Published - 29 Oct 2020