Fast raster-scan optoacoustic mesoscopy enables assessment of human melanoma microvasculature in vivo

Hailong He, Christine Schönmann, Mathias Schwarz, Benedikt Hindelang, Andrei Berezhnoi, Susanne Annette Steimle-Grauer, Ulf Darsow, Juan Aguirre, Vasilis Ntziachristos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Melanoma is associated with angiogenesis and vascular changes that may extend through the entire skin depth. Three-dimensional imaging of vascular characteristics in skin lesions could therefore allow diagnostic insights not available by conventional visual inspection. Raster-scan optoacoustic mesoscopy (RSOM) images microvasculature through the entire skin depth with resolutions of tens of micrometers; however, current RSOM implementations are too slow to overcome the strong breathing motions on the upper torso where melanoma lesions commonly occur. To enable high-resolution imaging of melanoma vasculature in humans, we accelerate RSOM scanning using an illumination scheme that is coaxial with a high-sensitivity ultrasound detector path, yielding 15 s single-breath-hold scans that minimize motion artifacts. We apply this Fast RSOM to image 10 melanomas and 10 benign nevi in vivo, showing marked differences between malignant and benign lesions, supporting the possibility to use biomarkers extracted from RSOM imaging of vasculature for lesion characterization to improve diagnostics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2803
JournalNature Communications
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

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