Real-time photoacoustic imaging of prostate brachytherapy seeds using a clinical ultrasound system

Nathanael Kuo, Hyun Jae Kang, Danny Y. Song, Jin U. Kang, Emad Boctor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Prostate brachytherapy is a popular prostate cancer treatment option that involves the permanent implantation of radioactive seeds into the prostate. However, contemporary brachytherapy procedure is limited by the lack of an imaging system that can provide real-time seed-position feedback. While many other imaging systems have been proposed, photoacoustic imaging has emerged as a potential ideal modality to address this need, since it could easily be incorporated into the current ultrasound system used in the operating room. We present such a photoacoustic imaging system built around a clinical ultrasound system to achieve the task of visualizing and localizing seeds. We performed several experiments to analyze the effects of various parameters on the appearance of brachytherapy seeds in photoacoustic images. We also imaged multiple seeds in an ex vivo dog prostate phantom to demonstrate the possibility of using this system in a clinical setting. Although still in its infancy, these initial results of a photoacoustic imaging system for the application of prostate brachytherapy seed localization are highly promising.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number066005
JournalJournal of biomedical optics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Clinical ultrasound
  • Dynamic planning
  • Photoacoustic imaging
  • Prostate brachytherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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