An opto-acoustic system capable of operating at frequencies greater than 1 GHz with novel biological applications is proposed for the first time. Metallic spheres with radii on the order of hundreds of nanometers dispersed inside a bio-matrix can be used to generate in-situ ultra-high frequency acoustic waves whose normal mode frequencies can be calculated using Lamb's theory for acoustic oscillations of elastic spheres. The frequency and amplitude of the resulting acoustic waves can be related to the physical properties of the metallic spheres and the surrounding bio-matrix: the acoustic waves produced by the metallic spheres are well-suited to high resolution acoustic imaging. We anticipate that our approach will open up new nanoscale techniques to study cells non-invasively.
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