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Opt Express. 2005 Jun 13;13(12):4792-811.

Adaptive optics parallel spectral domain optical coherence tomography for imaging the living retina.

Abstract

Although optical coherence tomography (OCT) can axially resolve and detect reflections from individual cells, there are no reports of imaging cells in the living human retina using OCT. To supplement the axial resolution and sensitivity of OCT with the necessary lateral resolution and speed, we developed a novel spectral domain OCT (SD-OCT) camera based on a free-space parallel illumination architecture and equipped with adaptive optics (AO). Conventional flood illumination, also with AO, was integrated into the camera and provided confirmation of the focus position in the retina with an accuracy of +/-10.3 mum. Short bursts of narrow B-scans (100x560 mum) of the living retina were subsequently acquired at 500 Hz during dynamic compensation (up to 14 Hz) that successfully corrected the most significant ocular aberrations across a dilated 6 mm pupil. Camera sensitivity (up to 94 dB) was sufficient for observing reflections from essentially all neural layers of the retina. Signal-to-noise of the detected reflection from the photoreceptor layer was highly sensitive to the level of cular aberrations and defocus with changes of 11.4 and 13.1 dB (single pass) observed when the ocular aberrations (astigmatism, 3rd order and higher) were corrected and when the focus was shifted by 200 mum (0.54 diopters) in the retina, respectively. The 3D resolution of the B-scans (3.0x3.0x5.7 mum) is the highest reported to date in the living human eye and was sufficient to observe the interface between the inner and outer segments of individual photoreceptor cells, resolved in both lateral and axial dimensions. However, high contrast speckle, which is intrinsic to OCT, was present throughout the AO parallel SD-OCT B-scans and obstructed correlating retinal reflections to cell-sized retinal structures.

PMID:
19495398
DOI:
10.1364/opex.13.004792

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