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Object information obtaining device, display method, and non-transitory computer-readable storage medium

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20140182383 patent thumbnailZoom

Object information obtaining device, display method, and non-transitory computer-readable storage medium


An object information obtaining device includes a light source which emits light, an acoustic wave detecting unit which detects a photoacoustic wave generated by irradiation of an object with the light, and outputs an electric signal in response to detection of the photoacoustic wave, and a processing unit configured to perform two or more types of processing to photoacoustic signal data based on the electric signal to obtain object information corresponding to each of the two or more types of processing, and to display on a display unit the object information corresponding to at least one processing selected by a user out of the two or more types of processing.
Related Terms: Irradiation Acoustic Wave

Browse recent Canon Kabushiki Kaisha patents - Tokyo, JP
USPTO Applicaton #: #20140182383 - Class: 73655 (USPTO) -
Measuring And Testing > Vibration >Sensing Apparatus >With Light Beam Indicator

Inventors: Koichi Suzuki, Hiroshi Abe

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20140182383, Object information obtaining device, display method, and non-transitory computer-readable storage medium.

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BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to technology to obtain object information based on a photoacoustic wave generated by irradiation of light to an object.

2. Description of the Related Art

Photo acoustic imaging (PAI) in an optical imaging technique developed based on the photoacoustic effect. In photo acoustic imaging, for example, an object such as a living body is irradiated with pulsed light and a light absorber such as a blood vessel absorbs energy of the pulsed light to generate a photoacoustic wave. An acoustic wave detecting unit detects the photoacoustic wave generated by the photoacoustic effect. Then, a detection signal output from the acoustic wave detecting unit is analyzed by image processing, for example, and object information is obtained.

As an example of photo acoustic imaging, Non-Patent Document 1 entitled “Universal back-projection algorithm for photoacoustic computed tomography”, disclosed by Xu et al., PHYSICAL REVIEW E 71,016706 (2005), discloses obtaining initial sound pressure distribution as the object information by applying universal back-projection reconstruction processing (hereinafter, referred to as “UBP processing”) to the detection signal of the photoacoustic wave.

SUMMARY

OF THE INVENTION

An object information obtaining device disclosed in this specification is provided with a light source configured to emit light, an acoustic wave detecting unit configured to detect a photoacoustic wave generated by irradiation of an object with the light, and to output an electric signal in response to detection of the acoustic wave, and a processing unit configured to perform two or more types of processing to photoacoustic signal data based on the electric signal to obtain object information corresponding to each of the two or more types of processing, and to display on a display unit the object information corresponding to at least one processing selected by a user out of the two or more types of processing. Further features of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of exemplary embodiments (with reference to the attached drawings).

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a view illustrating an object information obtaining device according to this embodiment.

FIG. 2 is a view illustrating a processing unit according to this embodiment in detail.

FIG. 3 is a view illustrating a flow of a method of obtaining object information according to this embodiment.

FIG. 4A is a view illustrating a simulation model according to this embodiment.

FIG. 4B is a view illustrating a simulation result of a Fourier domain reconstruction processing according to this embodiment.

FIG. 4C is a view illustrating a simulation result of a time domain reconstruction processing according to this embodiment.

FIG. 4D is a view illustrating a simulation result of a model base reconstruction processing according to this embodiment.

FIG. 5 is a view illustrating a flow of a method of obtaining object information according to Example 1 of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a view illustrating a processing unit according to Example 1 of the present invention in detail.

FIG. 7 is a view illustrating a screen displayed on a display according to Example 1 of the present invention.

FIG. 8 is a view illustrating a flow of a method of obtaining object information according to Example 2 of the present invention.

FIG. 9 is a view illustrating a screen displayed on a display according to Example 2 of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS

Object information according to one embodiment includes initial sound pressure of a photoacoustic wave generated by a photoacoustic effect, optical energy absorption density derived from the initial sound pressure, an absorption coefficient, density of a substance forming tissue and the like. Herein, density of a substance may be determined by levels of oxygen saturation, oxyhemoglobin density, deoxyhemoglobin density, total hemoglobin density and the like. The total hemoglobin density is a sum of the oxyhemoglobin density and the deoxyhemoglobin density.

The object information in this embodiment may be not numerical data but distribution information of each position in an object. That is to say, the distribution information such as absorption coefficient distribution and oxygen saturation distribution may be used as the object information.

Further improvement in method of displaying the object information obtained only by specific processing (UBP reconstruction processing) as disclosed in Non-Patent Document 1 is desired from a diagnostic viewpoint.

For example, a real image corresponding to the object might be displayed in a different manner depending on a type of the processing. Therefore, usefulness in diagnosis of an observation object might be different depending on the type of the processing.

A virtual image referred to as an artifact might be present in a diagnostic image obtained through the reconstruction processing. The artifact might preclude appropriate diagnosis. As it is known, depending on the type of the reconstruction processing, artifacts appear differently in a reconstructed image.

Therefore, display of object information obtained by the specific processing alone might be insufficient at the time of diagnosis.

In accordance with at least one embodiment of the present invention, at least one processing is selected by a user from two or more types of processing to photoacoustic signal data (also referred to as raw data). According to this, the user may confirm the object information obtained by desired processing, so that the user may selectively use the image corresponding to the processing determined to be useful according to a symptom in the diagnosis.

With the object information obtaining device capable of executing only one specific processing, there is a case in which processing requiring long processing time should be executed even though the user wants to see a diagnostic result in a short time. With the object information obtaining device capable of executing only the specific processing, there also is a case in which processing based on a simple model should be executed even though the user wants to observe detailed information even if it takes long processing time.

Therefore, according to an embodiment disclosed herein, the user may also select the desired processing in consideration of acceptable processing time to the user. That is to say, according to this embodiment, the user may select the object information corresponding to the desired processing determined by the user to be highly useful within the acceptable processing time to the user.

The present embodiment is hereinafter described with reference to the drawings. In the drawings, the same reference sign is assigned to the same component, and the description thereof is not repeated.

A basic configuration of the object information obtaining device (information obtaining apparatus) according to this embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1 is first described.

The object information obtaining device illustrated in FIG. 1 includes a light source 110, an optical system 120, an acoustic wave detecting unit 130, a processing unit 140 as a computer, an input unit 150, and a display unit 160 in order to obtain information of a living body 100 as the object.

FIG. 2 is a block diagram illustrating relevant parts of a computer, which is an example of a data processing apparatus including the processing unit 140 and peripheral elements of the processing unit 140. As illustrated in FIG. 2, the processing unit 140 is provided with an arithmetic unit 141 and a storage unit 142. An example of the processing unit 140 includes, but is not limited to, a microprocessor chip, such as a CPU (central processing unit) or MPU (micro processing unit). An example of storage unit 140 includes, but is not limited to, RAM or ROM memory.

The arithmetic unit 141 controls operation of each component forming the object information obtaining device through a data network 200. The arithmetic unit 141 reads a program in which processing steps for (a method of) obtaining object information to be described later is saved in the storage unit 142 and allows the object information obtaining device to execute the method of obtaining object information.

Each component of the object information obtaining device according to this embodiment is hereinafter described in detail.

(Light Source 110)

The light source 110 is preferably a pulse light source capable of emitting light pulses lasting a few nanoseconds to few microseconds. Specifically, the light source 110 is preferably capable of emitting light having a pulse width of approximately 10 nanoseconds in order to efficiently generate the photoacoustic wave. A wavelength of the light which can be emitted by the light source 110 is desirably the wavelength at which the light propagates into the object. Specifically, when the object is a living body, such as a human or animal body, a preferable wavelength is not shorter than 500 nm and not longer than 1500 nm.

A laser or a light-emitting diode are examples of a light source that may be used in some embodiments disclosed herein. As the laser, various lasers such as a solid-state laser, a gas laser, a dye laser, and a semiconductor laser may be used. For example, the laser used in this embodiment includes an alexandrite laser, an yttrium-aluminum-garnet laser, a titanium-sapphire laser and the like.

(Optical System 120)

The light emitted from the light source 110 is typically guided to the living body 100 while being shaped into a desired light distribution shape by means of an optical component such as a lens and a mirror. In addition, it is also possible to propagate the pulsed light by using a waveguide or an optical fiber. The optical component used to shape the light distribution includes, for example, a mirror reflecting the light, a lens collecting and magnifying the light or changing a focusing shape thereof, a prism dispersing, refracting, and reflecting the light, the optical fiber propagating the light, a diffusion plate dispersing the light and other like optical components or combinations thereof. Any type or number of such optical components may be used as long as the object is irradiated with the light emitted from the light source 110 in the desired manner.

However, when the light emitted by the light source 110 may be guided directly to the object as desired light, it may not be necessary to use the optical system 120.

(Acoustic Wave Detecting Unit 130)

The acoustic wave detecting unit 130 is provided with one or more opto-acoustic transducers and a housing enclosing the transducer(s). An opto-acoustic transducer, as used herein, is an element capable of detecting an acoustic wave.

The transducer receives the acoustic wave such as the photoacoustic wave and an ultrasonic echo to transform it to an electric signal being an analog signal. Any transducer may be used as long as the transducer is configured to receive the acoustic wave. Examples of transducer include a transducer using a piezoelectric phenomenon, a transducer using optical resonance, a transducer using change in capacitance, and other like transducers. The acoustic wave detecting unit 130 is preferably provided with a plurality of transducers arranged in an array.

(Processing Unit 140)

The processing unit 140 is provided with the arithmetic unit 141 and the storage unit 142 as illustrated in FIG. 2.

The arithmetic unit 141 is typically formed of an arithmetic element such as a CPU, a GPU, an A/D converter, a FPGA (field programmable gate array) card, and an ASIC (application specific integrated circuit) chip. Meanwhile, the arithmetic unit 141 may be formed not only of one arithmetic element but also of a plurality of arithmetic elements. Any arithmetic element may be used to perform the disclosed process.

The storage unit 142 is typically formed of a storage medium such as a ROM memory, a RAM memory, a hard disk drive, or a combination thereof. That is, the storage unit 142 may be formed not only of one storage medium but also of a plurality of storage media.

The arithmetic unit 141 may make a gain adjustment to increase or decrease an amplification gain according to time that elapses from irradiation of the light to arrival of the acoustic wave at the element of the acoustic wave detecting unit 130 in order to obtain the image having a uniform contrast regardless of a depth in the living body.

The arithmetic unit 141 may control light emission timing of the pulsed light emitted from the light source 110, and may also control operation start timing of the acoustic wave detecting unit 130 by using the pulsed light as a trigger signal. The arithmetic unit 141 may control display operations of the display unit 160.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20140182383 A1
Publish Date
07/03/2014
Document #
14134957
File Date
12/19/2013
USPTO Class
73655
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
01H9/00
Drawings
10


Irradiation
Acoustic Wave


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