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  1. Abstract

    Ultrasound localization microscopy (ULM) enables deep tissue microvascular imaging by localizing and tracking intravenously injected microbubbles circulating in the bloodstream. However, conventional localization techniques require spatially isolated microbubbles, resulting in prolonged imaging time to obtain detailed microvascular maps. Here, we introduce LOcalization with Context Awareness (LOCA)-ULM, a deep learning-based microbubble simulation and localization pipeline designed to enhance localization performance in high microbubble concentrations. In silico, LOCA-ULM enhanced microbubble detection accuracy to 97.8% and reduced the missing rate to 23.8%, outperforming conventional and deep learning-based localization methods up to 17.4% in accuracy and 37.6% in missing rate reduction. In in vivo rat brain imaging, LOCA-ULM revealed dense cerebrovascular networks and spatially adjacent microvessels undetected by conventional ULM. We further demonstrate the superior localization performance of LOCA-ULM in functional ULM (fULM) where LOCA-ULM significantly increased the functional imaging sensitivity of fULM to hemodynamic responses invoked by whisker stimulations in the rat brain.

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  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2025
  3. Išgum, Ivana ; Colliot, Olivier (Ed.)
  4. Abstract

    Photoacoustic computed tomography (PACT) is an emerging computed imaging modality that exploits optical contrast and ultrasonic detection principles to form images of the photoacoustically induced initial pressure distribution within tissue. The PACT reconstruction problem corresponds to a time-domain inverse source problem, where the initial pressure distribution is recovered from the measurements recorded on an aperture outside the support of the source. A major challenge in transcranial PACT brain imaging is to compensate for aberrations in the measured acoustic data that are induced by propagation of the photoacoustic wavefields through the skull. To properly account for these effects, previously proposed image reconstruction methods for transcranial PACT require knowledge of the spatial distribution of the elastic parameters of the skull. However, estimating the spatial distribution of these parameters prior to the PACT experiment remains challenging. To circumvent this issue, in this work a method to jointly reconstruct the initial pressure distribution and a low-dimensional representation of the elastic parameters of the skull is developed and investigated. The joint reconstruction (JR) problem is solved by use of a proximal optimization method that allows constraints and non-smooth regularization terms. The proposed method is evaluated by use of large-scale three-dimensional (3D) computer-simulation studies that mimic transcranial PACT experiments.

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