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Sci Rep. 2016 Dec 19;6:39443. doi: 10.1038/srep39443.

Anatomically correct visualization of the human upper airway using a high-speed long range optical coherence tomography system with an integrated positioning sensor.

Jing JC1,2, Chou L1, Su E1, Wong BJF1,2,3, Chen Z1,2.

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Beckman Laser Institute, University of California, Irvine, 1002 Health Sciences Road, Irvine, CA 92617 USA.
Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697-2700 USA.
Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of California, Irvine, 101 The City Drive South, Orange, CA 92868, USA.


The upper airway is a complex tissue structure that is prone to collapse. Current methods for studying airway obstruction are inadequate in safety, cost, or availability, such as CT or MRI, or only provide localized qualitative information such as flexible endoscopy. Long range optical coherence tomography (OCT) has been used to visualize the human airway in vivo, however the limited imaging range has prevented full delineation of the various shapes and sizes of the lumen. We present a new long range OCT system that integrates high speed imaging with a real-time position tracker to allow for the acquisition of an accurate 3D anatomical structure in vivo. The new system can achieve an imaging range of 30 mm at a frame rate of 200 Hz. The system is capable of generating a rapid and complete visualization and quantification of the airway, which can then be used in computational simulations to determine obstruction sites.

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