Functional Spectral Domain Optical Coherence Tomography Imaging

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Spectral Domain Optical Coherence Tomography (SDOCT) is a high-speed, high resolution imaging modality capable of structural and functional resolution of tissue microstructure. SDOCT fills a niche between histology and ultrasound imaging, providing non-contact, non-invasive backscattering amplitude and phase from a sample. Due to the translucent nature of the tissue, ophthalmic imaging is an ideal space for SDOCT imaging.

Structural imaging of the retina has provided new insights into ophthalmic disease. The phase component of SDOCT images remains largely underexplored, though. While Doppler SDOCT has been explored in a research setting, it remains to catch on in the clinic. Other, functional exploitations of the phase are possible and necessary to expand the utility of SDOCT. Spectral Domain Phase Microscopy (SDPM) is an extension of SDOCT that is capable of resolving sub-wavelength displacements within a focal volume. Application of sub-wavelength displacement measurement ophthalmic imaging could provide a new method for imaging of optophysiology.

This body of work encompasses both hardware and software design and development for implementation of SDOCT. Structural imaging was proven in both the lab and the clinic. Coarse phase changes associated with Doppler flow frequency shifts were recorded and a study was conducted to validate Doppler measurement. Fine phase changes were explored through SDPM applications. Preliminary optophysiology data was acquired to study the potential of sub-wavelength measurements in the retina. To remove the complexity associated with in-vivo human retinal imaging, a first principles approach using isolated nerve samples was applied using standard SDPM and a depth-encoded technique for measuring conduction velocity.

Results from amplitude as well as both coarse and fine phase processing are presented. In-vivo optophysiology using SDPM is a promising avenue for exploration, and projects furthering or extending this body of work are discussed.





Bower, Bradley A. (2009). Functional Spectral Domain Optical Coherence Tomography Imaging. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from


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