A computer-based simulator for intravascular photoacoustic images
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) and photoacoustic tomography are emerging non-invasive biological and medical imaging techniques. It is a recent trend in experimental science to design experiments that perform photoacoustic tomography and OCT imaging at once. In this paper, we present a mathematical model describing the dual experiment. Because OCT is mathematically modelled by Maxwell's equations or some simplifications of it, whereas the light propagation in quantitative photoacoustics is modelled by (simplifications of) the radiative transfer equation, the first step in the derivation of a mathematical model of the dual experiment is to obtain a unified mathematical description, which in our case are Maxwell's equations. As a by-product, we therefore derive a new mathematical model of photoacoustic tomography based on Maxwell's equations. It is well known by now that without additional assumptions on the medium, it is not possible to uniquely reconstruct all optical parameters from either one of these modalities alone. We show that in the combined approach, one has additional information, compared with a single modality, and the inverse problem of reconstruction of the optical parameters becomes feasible. © 2016 The Authors. Mathematical Methods in the Applied Sciences Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.