Presenter: Ahmed Yahia Khiari
Supervisors: Dr. Michael Kolios & Dr. General Leung
Strokes are the second leading cause of death worldwide. Vulnerable carotid plaques are a primary cause of stroke, with carotid Intraplaque Haemorrhages being a key feature of vulnerability. MR imaging, which is sensitive to the presence of endogenous Methemoglobin (MetHb), is used to detect IPH. MRI is however expensive, and not readily available. We propose the use of Photoacoustic Imaging (PAI) for the detection of IPH, with MetHb being the primary PA imaging target. I examine the feasibility of this approach by performing Monte Carlo studies of light propagation, energy deposition and PA generation in tissue mimicking models, as well as experimental PA measurements of MetHb in tissue-mimicking phantoms. I show that is possible to achieve SNRs larger than 12dB at the average carotid artery depth of ∼20mm, with the potential of imaging ≥ 30 mm in Type I skin using commonly available hardware.