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Journal of Biomedical Optics

Effect of target biological tissue and choice of light source on penetration depth and resolution in optical coherence tomography
Author(s): Ann Sainter; Terence A. King; Mark Russell Dickinson
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Paper Abstract

The effectiveness of an optical coherence tomography (OCT) system depends largely on the light source chosen. Published data on the optical properties of tissues are used to quantify the exponential attenuation of broadband light on transport through tissue. The effective attenuation coefficient is taken to be the sum of the absorption and scattering coefficients. This is used to demonstrate the effect on the spectra of a wide range of published OCT sources and the change in system resolution induced, and hence to comment on the suitability of different sources for OCT. The tissues studied include skin dermis, liver, and gallbladder. Sources at higher wavelengths are shown to be capable of high-resolution OCT imaging at greater depths. Titanium:sapphire lasers would be most suited for high-resolution OCT over comparatively shallow depths into tissue. For lower-resolution applications of OCT, a semiconductor optical amplifier and ytterbium fiber sources have better powers and bandwidths than superluminescent diodes. The resolution of OCT systems is not reduced significantly with imaging depth.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 January 2004
PDF: 7 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 9(1) doi: 10.1117/1.1628243
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 9, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Ann Sainter, Univ. of Manchester (United Kingdom)
Terence A. King, Univ. of Manchester (United Kingdom)
Mark Russell Dickinson, Univ. of Manchester (United Kingdom)

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