Super-resolution photoacoustic and ultrasound imaging with sparse arrays

Sergey Vilov, Bastien Arnal, Eliel Hojman, Yonina C. Eldar, Ori Katz, Emmanuel Bossy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


It has previously been demonstrated that model-based reconstruction methods relying on a priori knowledge of the imaging point spread function (PSF) coupled to sparsity priors on the object to image can provide super-resolution in photoacoustic (PA) or in ultrasound (US) imaging. Here, we experimentally show that such reconstruction also leads to super-resolution in both PA and US imaging with arrays having much less elements than used conventionally (sparse arrays). As a proof of concept, we obtained super-resolution PA and US cross-sectional images of microfluidic channels with only 8 elements of a 128-elements linear array using a reconstruction approach based on a linear propagation forward model and assuming sparsity of the imaged structure. Although the microchannels appear indistinguishable in the conventional delay-and-sum images obtained with all the 128 transducer elements, the applied sparsity-constrained model-based reconstruction provides super-resolution with down to only 8 elements. We also report simulation results showing that the minimal number of transducer elements required to obtain a correct reconstruction is fundamentally limited by the signal-to-noise ratio. The proposed method can be straigthforwardly applied to any transducer geometry, including 2D sparse arrays for 3D super-resolution PA and US imaging.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number4637
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020

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