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Opt Lett. 2014 Jan 1;39(1):41-4. doi: 10.1364/OL.39.000041.

Shear wave imaging optical coherence tomography (SWI-OCT) for ocular tissue biomechanics.


We report on a noncontact low-coherence optical phase-based imaging method, termed shear wave imaging optical coherence tomography (SWI-OCT), which enables 2D depth-resolved visualization of the low-amplitude elastic wave propagation in tissue with ultrahigh frame rate. SWI-OCT is based on 1D transverse scanning of the M-mode OCT imaging that is precisely synchronized with a low-pressure short-duration air-puff loading system. This approach of scanning and data recording allows visualization of the induced tissue deformation at high frame rate. The applied phase-resolved interferometric technique, with sensitivity on the nanometer scale, makes the low-amplitude tissue displacement detectable. For the demonstration of this method, and to study its application for tissue biomechanics, we performed pilot experiments on agar phantoms and ex vivo rabbit corneas. Samples with different elastic properties can be differentiated based on the velocity of the elastic wave propagation that is directly visualized with a 25 kHz frame rate. Our results indicate that SWI-OCT has the potential to be further developed as a major technique for depth-resolved high-resolution tissue elastography in vivo.

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