Leadership Team:

Name Affiliation
Sarah Bohndiek University of Cambridge
William Vogt U.S. Food and Drug Administration


The goal of the study design thematic working group is to standardize performance test methodology and best practices for photoacoustic imaging systems. To this end, our specific objectives are:


  1. Image quality metrics: Develop a standardized set of well-defined image quality metrics for PAI performance characterization.

  2. Multi-site experiment: Develop study design and logistics for a multi-site phantom-based PAI system characterization and inter-comparison study.


Initial conference calls determined that there was need for standardized terminology within the consortium, and a consensus-based list of terms and definitions has recently been developed for adoption by IPASC. Initially, general recommendations for protocol design and study conduct in a multi-site phantom study were established, including adoption of a “test-ship-test” protocol. Phantoms fabricated by the Cambridge group will be sent to satellite labs for testing, then returned for re-characterization before shipment to the next satellite lab. Guidelines for system operation and phantom use were established, including probe alignment techniques, use of “locked” scanning parameters during phantom testing, and minimum requirements for reporting study methodology and results. Future discussions will seek to finalize these recommendations and specifications.

Proposed deliverables:

The group will generate consensus documents establishing:

  1. Consensus Document: A consensus list of terms and definitions.

  2. Consensus Document: Recommended image quality metrics and methods of quantitative evaluation.

  3. Consensus Document: General recommendations for phantom-based image quality test methodology and best practices.

  4. Consensus Document: Study protocol for proposed multi-site IPASC phantom study.