Ultrafast ultrasound imaging of surface acoustic waves induced by laser excitation compared with acoustic radiation force

Two generation mechanisms—optical perturbation and acoustic radiation force (ARF)—were investigated where high frame rate ultrasound imaging was used to track the propagation of induced SAWs. We compared ARF-induced SAWs with laser-induced SAWs generated by laser beam irradiation of the uniformly absorbing tissue-like viscoelastic phantom, where light was preferentially absorbed at the surface. We also compared the frequency content of SAWs generated by ARF versus pulsed laser light, using the same duration of excitation. Differences in the SAW bandwidth were expected because, in general, laser light can be focused into a smaller area. Finally, we compared wave generation and propagation when the wave’s origin was below the surface. We also investigated the relationship between shear wave amplitude and optical fluence. The investigation reported here can potentially extend the applications of laser-induced SAW generation and imaging in life sciences and other applications.

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