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Multi-channel photo-acoustic and laser ultrasonic waves are used to sense the characteristics of proxies for healthy and diseased vessels. The acquisition system is non-contacting and non-invasive with a pulsed laser source and a laser vibrometer detector. As the wave signatures of our targets are typically low in amplitude, we exploit multi-channel acquisition and processing techniques. These are commonly used in seismology to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of data. We identify vessel proxies with a diameter on the order of 1 mm, at a depth of 18 mm. Variations in scattered and photo-acoustic signatures are related to differences in vessel wall properties and content. The methods described have the potential to improve imaging and better inform interventions for atherosclerotic vessels, such as the carotid artery.

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NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology, Vol. 40, Issue 3, (2014). DOI: 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2013.10.011