A dual contrast agent for combined photoacoustic and ultrasound imaging is reported in Nature Communications this week. With further development the work could allow higher signal amplitude in medical imaging. Photoacoustic contrast agents typically use thermal expansion to generate photoacoustic signals. Stanislav Emelianov and co-workers developed an exogenous contrast agent that uses vaporization for photoacoustic signal generation, providing significantly higher signals. They were tested in a mouse model to validate the contrast enhancing effects in highly optically scattering and absorbing tissues. The combination of photoacoustic and ultrasound imaging may provide high spatial resolution images and improved medical imaging.
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