Automatic algorithm for skin profile detection in photoacoustic microscopy

Hao F. Zhang, Konstantin Maslov, Lihong V. Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


We have developed an automatic algorithm to detect the skin profiles in the volumetric data acquired by photoacoustic microscopy for subcutaneous vasculature imaging. This algorithm analyzes the relationship between amplitudes of photoacoustic signals generated from the skin surface and underlying blood vessels to achieve a rough estimation of the skin profile. A better approximation of the skin profile is then acquired after nonparametric smoothing and Gaussian low-pass spatial filtering. An auto-fit scan mechanism is further developed based on the detected skin profile to achieve good ultrasonic focusing on the subcutaneous vessel layer when the skin contour variation is much larger than the ultrasonic focal zone. The importance of skin profile detection in calculating the maximum-amplitude-projection images and significantly improving the image quality by employing the auto-fit scan are demonstrated by in vivo experimental results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number024050
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009


  • image processing
  • photoacoustic microscopy
  • smoothing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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