High-resolution photoacoustic endoscope through beam self-cleaning in a graded index fiber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


External Institution(s)

  • Boston University


Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3841-3844
Number of pages4
JournalOptics Letters
Issue number15
StatusPublished - Aug 1 2019


Intravascular photoacoustic imaging can potentially improve the identification of lipid-laden atherosclerotic plaque. Most intravascular photoacoustic endoscopes use multimode fibers, which do not allow tight focusing of photons. Recent experiments on pulse propagation in multimode graded-index fibers have shown a nonlinear improvement in beam quality. Here, we harness this nonlinear phenomenon for fiber-delivery of nanosecond laser pulses. We built a photoacoustic catheter 1.4 mm outer diameter, offering a lateral resolution as fine as 30 μm within a depth range of 2.5 mm. Such resolution is one order of magnitude better than current multimode fiber-based intravascular photoacoustic catheters. At the same time, the delivered pulse energy can reach as high as 20 μJ, which is two orders of magnitude higher than that of an optical resolution photoacoustic endoscope built with a single mode fiber. These improvements are expected to promote the biomedical application of photoacoustic endoscopes which require both high resolution and high pulse energy.