Article by UEF researchers selected as JASA’s 2018 Technical Area Pick for Biomedical Acoustics

The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America has selected an article authored by Jenni Tick, Aki Pulkkinen, Jari Kaipio and Tanja Tarvainen at the UEF Department of Applied Physics as the 2018 Technical Area Pick for Biomedical Acoustics. The article is titled Three Dimensional Photoacoustic Tomography in Bayesian Framework ( The article is a joint publication by an international team of researchers from UEF, the Centrum Wiskunde and Informatica in Amsterdam, the University of Auckland and University College London.

Photoacoustic tomography is an imaging modality that is based on a photoacoustic effect caused by absorption of an externally introduced light pulse, and on detection of an ultrasound-frequency acoustic wave that follows. In image reconstruction, the photoacoustic image, i.e. the initial pressure caused by light absorption, is estimated from ultrasound signals measured on the boundary of the object. Photoacoustic tomography allows for both high optical contrast and high ultrasound resolution to be achieved simultaneously, making it an attractive imaging modality for biomedical and medical applications.

The reconstruction of a photoacoustic image is an ill-posed inverse problem. The researches at the University of Eastern Finland developed an approach to this problem based on Bayesian framework to ill-posed inverse problems and reported their findings in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (  The approach enables, in addition to conventional qualitative images, quantitative estimates of the initial pressure together with credible intervals.

In the article selected as the Technical Area Pick, the approach was extended to three spatial dimensions. The feasibility of the approach was assessed in collaboration with researchers from University College London, using their photoacoustic measurement system. The results indicate that the Bayesian approach can produce accurate estimates of the initial pressure in the form of tomographic images. Moreover, it is possible to assess the reliability of these images.

The research group at the University of Eastern Finland’s Department of Applied Physics is led by Associate Professor Tanja Tarvainen. The research group constitutes part of the Centre of Excellence in Inverse Modelling and Imaging of the Academy of Finland. The study was funded by the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation and the Instrumentarium Science Foundation. In addition, the Saastamoinen Foundation supported Jenni Tick’s research visit to the University of Auckland.

For further information, please contact:

Associate Professor Tanja Tarvainen, Department of Applied Physics, University of Eastern Finland, tel. +358 40 355 2310, tanja.tarvainen (a),

Research article:

Tick J, Pulkkinen A, Lucka F, Ellwood R, Cox BT, Kaipio JP, Arridge SR, Tarvainen T, “Three dimensional photoacoustic tomography in Bayesian framework”, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 144(4):2061-2071 (2018)