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J Biomed Opt. 2006 Sep-Oct;11(5):054013.

Dynamic focus in optical coherence tomography for retinal imaging.

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  • 1Medical University of Vienna, Center for Biomedical Engineering and Physics, Vienna, Austria.


Imaging the human retina still represents the main field of application of optical coherence tomography (OCT). A major advantage of OCT is the decoupling of depth resolution (given by the coherence length of the light source) and transverse resolution (given by the focal spot size). This enables images of the retina with high depth resolution. On the other hand, in most OCT systems, a limited transverse resolution has been accepted to provide a sufficiently large (approximately 1 mm) depth of focus. However, to obtain images with high transverse resolution throughout the whole depth of the retina (especially in the nerve head region) a tracking of coherence gate and focus position (dynamic focus) is essential. This study realizes a dynamic focus in a time domain transversal (en face) scanning system for retinal imaging. We show that maintenance of a transverse resolution of approximately 4.4 microm can be achieved over an optical depth of 1 mm in a model eye and apply our method to imaging the human retina in vivo.

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