Optical Coherence Tomography, OCT, Endoscopy, Bessel Beam, Axicon, DR FDOCT, Confocal, Extended depth of focus


Today, medical imaging is playing an important role in medicine as it provides the techniques and processes used to create images of the human body or parts thereof for clinical purposes (medical procedures seeking to reveal, diagnose or examine disease) or medical science (including the study of normal anatomy and function). Modalities are developing over time to achieve the highest possible resolution, speed of image acquisition, sensitivity, and specificity. In the past decade, advances in optics, fiber, as well as laser technology have enabled the development of noninvasive optical biomedical imaging technology that can also be applied to endoscopy to reach deeper locations in the human body. The purpose of this dissertation is to investigate a full system design and optimization of an optical coherence tomography (OCT) system to achieve high axial and lateral resolution together with an extended depth of focus for endoscopic in vivo imaging. In this research aimed at advancing endoscopic OCT imaging, two high axial resolution optical coherence tomography systems were developed: (1) a spectrometer-based frequency-domain (FD) OCT achieving an axial resolution of ~2.5 µm using a Ti:Sa femtosecond laser with a 120nm bandwidth centered at 800nm and (2) a swept-source based FD OCT employing a high speed Fourier domain mode locked (FDML) laser that achieves real time in vivo imaging with ~8 µm axial resolution at an acquisition speed of 90,000 A-scans/sec. A critical prior limitation of FD OCT systems is the presence of mirror images in the image reconstruction algorithm that could only be eliminated at the expense of depth and speed of imaging. A key contribution of this research is the development of a novel FD OCT imager that enables full range depth imaging without a loss in acquisition speed. Furthermore, towards the need for better axial resolution, we developed a mathematical model of the OCT signal that includes the effect on phase modulation of phase delay, group delay, and dispersion. From the mathematical model we saw that a Fourier domain optical delay line (FD ODL) incorporated into the reference arm of the OCT system represented a path to higher performance. Here we then present a method to compensate for overall system dispersion with a FDODL that maintains the axial resolution at the limit determined solely by the coherence length of a broadband source. In the development of OCT for endoscopic applications, the need for long depth of focus imaging is critical to accommodate the placement of the catheter anywhere within a vessel. A potential solution to this challenge is Bessel-beam imaging. In a first step, a Bessel-beam based confocal scanning optical microscopy (BCSOM) using an axicon and single mode fiber was investigated with a mathematical model and simulation. The BCSOM approach was then implemented in a FD OCT system that delivered high lateral resolution over a long depth of focus. We reported on the imaging in biological samples for the first time with a double-pass microoptics axicon that demonstrated clearly invariant SNR and 8 um lateral resolution images across a 4 mm depth of focus. Finally, we describe the design and fabrication of a catheter incorporated in the FD OCT. The design, conceived for a 5 mm outer diameter catheter, allows 360 degree scanning with a lateral resolution of about 5 um across a depth of focus of about 1.6 mm. The dissertation concludes with comments for related future work.


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Graduation Date



Rolland, Jannick


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Optics and Photonics


Optics and Photonics

Degree Program









Release Date

September 2009

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)