We propose and study a reconstruction method for photoacoustic tomography (PAT) based on total generalized variation (TGV) regularization for the inversion of the slice-wise 2D-Radon transform in 3D. The latter problem occurs for recently-developed PAT imaging techniques with parallelized integrating ultrasound detection where projection data from various directions is sequentially acquired. As the imaging speed is presently limited to 20 seconds per 3D image, the reconstruction of temporally-resolved 3D sequences of, e.g., one heartbeat or breathing cycle, is very challenging and currently, the presence of motion artifacts in the reconstructions obstructs the applicability for biomedical research. In order to push these techniques forward towards real time, it thus becomes necessary to reconstruct from less measured data such as few-projection data and consequently, to employ sophisticated reconstruction methods in order to avoid typical artifacts. The proposed TGV-regularized Radon inversion is a variational method that is shown to be capable of such artifact-free inversion. It is validated by numerical simulations, compared to filtered back projection (FBP), and performance-tested on real data from phantom as well as in-vivo mouse experiments. The results indicate that a speed-up factor of four is possible without compromising reconstruction quality.
Bredies, K., Nuster, R., & Watschinger, R. (2020). TGV-regularized inversion of the Radon transform for photoacoustic tomography. Biomedical Optics Express, 11(2), 994-1019. https://doi.org/10.1364/BOE.379941