Image distortion analysis in photoacoustic imaging when the skull blocks both the light illumination and acoustic detection paths. (a) Experimental setup. (b) PA image of the square loop imaging target (i) without the skull, (ii) with a 0.7 mm skull, (iii) with a 1.0 mm skull, and (iv) with a 1.3 mm skull. (c) Contour map of the PA images representing the skull-induced deformation (i) without the skull, (ii) with a 0.7 mm skull, (iii) with a 1.0 mm skull, and (iv) with a 1.3 mm skull. The transducer was at a distance of 1.5 cm from the skull and the skull was at a distance of 3 cm from the square loop imaging target. Light green and orange ROIs are at the same depth from the transducer. This distance increases from the light to dark blue ROIs from 4.5 to 6 cm.

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