For many clinical applications, such as dermatology, optical coherence tomography (OCT) suffers from limited penetration depth due primarily to the highly scattering nature of biological tissues. Here, we present a novel implementation of dual-axis optical coherence tomography (DA-OCT) that offers improved depth penetration in skin imaging at 1.3 µm compared to conventional OCT. Several unique aspects of DA-OCT are examined here, including the requirements for scattering properties to realize the improvement and the limited depth of focus (DOF) inherent to the technique. To overcome this limitation, our approach uses a tunable lens to coordinate focal plane selection with image acquisition to create an enhanced DOF for DA-OCT. This improvement in penetration depth is quantified experimentally against conventional on-axis OCT using tissue phantoms and mouse skin. The results presented here suggest the potential use of DA-OCT in situations where a high degree of scattering limits depth penetration in OCT imaging.
A conventional optical lens can enhance lateral resolution in optical coherence tomography (OCT) by focusing the input light onto the sample. However, the typical Gaussian beam profile of such a lens will impose a tradeoff between the depth of focus (DOF) and the lateral resolution. The lateral resolution is often compromised to achieve a
- Award ID(s):
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Publisher / Repository:
- Optical Society of America
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Optics Express
- 1094-4087; OPEXFF
- Page Range / eLocation ID:
- Article No. 34256
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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