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Nat Biotechnol. 2003 Nov;21(11):1361-7.

Optical coherence tomography for ultrahigh resolution in vivo imaging.

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  • 1Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an emerging biomedical optical imaging technique that performs high-resolution, cross-sectional tomographic imaging of microstructure in biological systems. OCT can achieve image resolutions of 1-15 microm, one to two orders of magnitude finer than standard ultrasound. The image penetration depth of OCT is determined by the optical scattering and is up to 2-3 mm in tissue. OCT functions as a type of 'optical biopsy' to provide cross-sectional images of tissue structure on the micron scale. It is a promising imaging technology because it can provide images of tissue in situ and in real time, without the need for excision and processing of specimens.

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