Three-dimensional imaging of skin melanoma in vivo by dual-wavelength photoacoustic microscopy

Jung Taek Oh, Meng Lin Li, Hao F. Zhang, Konstantin Maslov, George Stoica, Lihong V. Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

265 Scopus citations


Dual-wavelength reflection-mode photoacoustic microscopy is used to noninvasively obtain three-dimensional (3-D) images of subcutaneous melanomas and their surrounding vasculature in nude mice in vivo. The absorption coefficients of blood and melaninpigmented melanomas vary greatly relative to each other at these two optical wavelengths (764 and 584 nm). Using high-resolution and high-contrast photoacoustic imaging in vivo with a near-infrared (764-nm) light source, the 3-D melanin distribution inside the skin is imaged, and the maximum thickness of the melanoma (∼0.5 mm) is measured. The vascular system surrounding the melanoma is also imaged with visible light (584 nm) and the tumor-feeding vessels found. This technique can potentially be used for melanoma diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment planning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number034032
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2006


  • Medical and biological imaging
  • Photoacoustic imaging
  • Spectroscopy
  • Three-dimensional microscopy
  • Tissue diagnostics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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