Our Story


A-Scan was formed by Dr. Shai Ashkenazi, as a "spin-off" of the scientific research at the Photoacoustic and Ultrasound Lab (PUL)  led by Dr. Ashkenazi at the Biomedical Engineering Department, University of Minnesota.

Specifically, while  focusing on the development of a tissue oxygen imaging technique based on Photoacoustic Lifetime Imaging (PALI), a search for a reference needle-probe for validation purposes 

has clearly demonstrated the need for new products in this field. None of the currently existing systems is designed for pre-clinical studies. We have decided to make our own tissue oxygen sensing needle. We have ended up not only improving the reliability of the needle in tissue environment, but adding a completely new and exciting scanning capability. 

Dr. Shai Ashkenazi - Bio: After completing a PhD in Physics (Weizmann Institute, Israel, 1997), Shai has worked as a physicist and system engineer in medical device R&D start-up companies in Israel. In 2003 Shai moved to a research position in the University of Michigan and then to the University of Minnesota (2008) where he is now an associate professor in the department of Biomedical Engineering.

The Product


The A-Scan tissue oxygen scanner is the only oxygen probe allowing scanning inside tissue WITHOUT moving the needle.

The scan length (active scanning section) of the needle can be customized in the range of 20 mm to 60 mm.

Proprietry design includes encapsulation of the optical fiber by glass capillary and stainless steel needle, ensures robust operation in tissue environment.

The scanner is designed for researchers and is particularly optimized for pre-clinical studies. Simple and intuitive softare interface allows quick integration in research setup. A separate "Under the Hood" section of the software allows the researcher more flexibility and control over parameters such as: scan speed, spatial resolution, signal averaging, and other options.

Built-in scheduler is provided to automate repeated scans.

Connectivity with third-party products such as MATLAB, allows integrating A-Scan's scanner in monitoring and conrolling applications such as tissue engineering. 

The Technology


Phosphorescence lifetime sensing is at the basis of A-Scan oxygen scanning needle-probe. Continuous sensing strip is deposited on a side-window along the needle's axis. Fiberoptic scanning at the internal core volume of the needle allows scanning of the sensing point and acquiring depth profile of tissue oxygen. Simple design ensures robust and reliable operation, optimally designed for pre-clinical studies.