Transversally travelling ultrasound for light guiding deep into scattering media

Cherkashin, M.N. and Brenner, C. and Schmitz, G. and Hofmann, M.R.

Volume: 3 Pages:
DOI: 10.1038/s42005-020-00443-w
Published: 2020

The application of optical methods for tissue diagnosis, activation, and treatment suffers dramatically from the low accessible depths due to strong light scattering in tissues. Here we demonstrate a method to address this issue by utilizing transient ultrasound waves, travelling transversally to the light propagation direction, to guide light into deeper tissue regions. We study the formation of the ultrasound-induced refractive index structures and waveguides using simple ultrasound field configurations and analyze their effects on the propagation of short light pulses. As a proof of concept, we demonstrate using 5 ns pulses of 532 nm light and Intralipid-20%-based phantoms with μs′ up to 4.5 cm−1 a waveguide supported light intensity increase up to the depths of at least 90 mean free paths. © 2020, The Author(s).

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