The major obstacles of optical imaging and photothermal therapy in biomedical applications is the strong scattering of light within biological tissues resulting in light defocusing and limited penetration. In this study, we propose high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU)-induced heating tunnel to reduce the photon scattering. To verify our idea, Monte Carlo simulation and intralipid-phantom experiments were conducted. The results show that the thermal effect created by HIFU could improve the light fluence at the targeted region by 3% in both simulation and phantom experiments. Owing to the fluence increase, similar results can also be found in the photoacoustic experiments. In conclusion, our proposed method shows a noninvasive way to increase the light delivery efficiency in turbid medium. It is expected that our finding has a potential for improving the focal light delivery in photoacoustic imaging and photothermal therapy.
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