OAI offers versatile and highly specific contrast from a variety of tissue-intrinsic and extrinsic molecules, including hemoglobin, melanin, lipids, collagen, fluorophores and nanoparticles. This allows for anatomical, functional and molecular imaging within a single modality.
Many diseases come with a change in tissue properties that can be tracked with optoacoustic imaging (OAI). Tissue and disease biomarkers can be assessed in real time, which has allowed clinical trials to demonstrate potential point-of-care value in several disease areas. Portable and cost-effective, OAI could soon provide clinicians new avenues for diagnosis and assessment of therapeutic efficacy.