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Biomed Opt Express. 2011 Oct 1;2(10):2770-83. doi: 10.1364/BOE.2.002770. Epub 2011 Sep 12.

High speed spectral domain optical coherence tomography for retinal imaging at 500,000 A‑lines per second.

Abstract

We present a new development of ultrahigh speed spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SDOCT) for human retinal imaging at 850 nm central wavelength by employing two high-speed line scan CMOS cameras, each running at 250 kHz. Through precisely controlling the recording and reading time periods of the two cameras, the SDOCT system realizes an imaging speed at 500,000 A-lines per second, while maintaining both high axial resolution (~8 μm) and acceptable depth ranging (~2.5 mm). With this system, we propose two scanning protocols for human retinal imaging. The first is aimed to achieve isotropic dense sampling and fast scanning speed, enabling a 3D imaging within 0.72 sec for a region covering 4x4 mm(2). In this case, the B-frame rate is 700 Hz and the isotropic dense sampling is 500 A-lines along both the fast and slow axes. This scanning protocol minimizes the motion artifacts, thus making it possible to perform two directional averaging so that the signal to noise ratio of the system is enhanced while the degradation of its resolution is minimized. The second protocol is designed to scan the retina in a large field of view, in which 1200 A-lines are captured along both the fast and slow axes, covering 10 mm(2), to provide overall information about the retinal status. Because of relatively long imaging time (4 seconds for a 3D scan), the motion artifact is inevitable, making it difficult to interpret the 3D data set, particularly in a way of depth-resolved en-face fundus images. To mitigate this difficulty, we propose to use the relatively high reflecting retinal pigmented epithelium layer as the reference to flatten the original 3D data set along both the fast and slow axes. We show that the proposed system delivers superb performance for human retina imaging.

KEYWORDS:

(170.3880) medical and biological imaging; (170.4460) Ophthalmic optics and devices; (170.4500) Optical coherence tomography

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