Optical Coherence Tomography0

OCT 2What Is Optical Coherence Tomography?

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a non-invasive imaging test that uses light waves to take cross-section pictures of your retina, the light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye.

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an imaging modality analogous to ultrasound, but instead of using the difference in the flight times of acoustic waves (as in ultrasound), it uses light to achieve micrometer axial resolution. OCT is used in many different biomedical applications, with retinal imaging being the most successful and the driving force behind much OCT development. The axial resolution of OCT in retinal tissue is about 1-15 µm, which is 10 to 100 times better than ultrasound or MRI. Although relatively new to ophthalmology, a commercial OCT system has already revolutionized the field, rapidly becoming an essential tool in the diagnosis and monitoring of human retinal disease. As part of our collaboration with the Biomedical Engineering Department at Duke University, our group at the Vision Science and Advanced Retinal Imaging Laboratory has developed a Fourier-domain OCT system that is faster and has higher resolution than existing commercial OCT instruments. In collaboration with colleagues in the Computer Science Department at UC Davis, we have also developed software for three-dimensional rendering to allow visualization and quantitative evaluation of volumetric data acquired with Fourier-domain OCT.

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a fundamentally new type of optical imaging modality. OCT performs high-resolution, cross-sectional tomographic imaging of the internal microstructure in materials and biologic systems by measuring backscattered or backreflected light. OCT images are two-dimensional data sets which represent the optical backscattering in a cross-sectional plane through the tissue. Image resolutions of 1 to 15 µm can be achieved one to two orders of magnitude higher than conventional ultrasound. Imaging can be performed in situ and in real time. The unique features of this technology enable a broad range of research and clinical applications. This review article provides an overview of OCT technology, its background, and its potential biomedical and clinical applications.


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