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Opt Express. 2011 Feb 14;19(4):3044-62. doi: 10.1364/OE.19.003044.

Megahertz OCT for ultrawide-field retinal imaging with a 1050 nm Fourier domain mode-locked laser.

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Lehrstuhl für BioMolekulare Optik, Fakultät für Physik, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Oettingenstr. 67, 80538 München, Germany.


We demonstrate ultrahigh speed swept source retinal OCT imaging using a Fourier domain mode locked (FDML) laser. The laser uses a combination of a semiconductor optical amplifier and an ytterbium doped fiber amplifier to provide more than 50 mW output power. The 1050 nm FDML laser uses standard telecom fiber for the km long delay line instead of two orders of magnitude more expensive real single mode fiber. We investigate the influence of this "oligo-mode" fiber on the FDML laser performance. Two design configurations with 684,400 and 1,368,700 axial scans per second are investigated, 25x and 50x faster than current commercial instruments and more than 4x faster than previous single spot ophthalmic results. These high speeds enable the acquisition of densely sampled ultrawide-field data sets of the retina within a few seconds. Ultrawide-field data consisting of 1900 x 1900 A-scans with ~70° angle of view are acquired within only 3 and 6 seconds using the different setups. Such OCT data sets, more than double as large as previously reported, are collapsed to a 4 megapixel high definition fundus image. We achieve good penetration into the choroid by hardware spectral shaping of the laser output. The axial resolution in tissue is 12 µm (684 kHz) and 19 µm (1.37 MHz). A series of new data processing and imaging extraction protocols, enabled by the ultrawide-field isotropic data sets, are presented. Dense isotropic sampling enables both, cross-sectional images along arbitrary coordinates and depth-resolved en-face fundus images. Additionally, we investigate how isotropic averaging compares to the averaging of cross-sections along the slow axis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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