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Biomedical Optics Express

Biomedical Optics Express

  • Editor: Joseph A. Izatt
  • Vol. 4, Iss. 7 — Jul. 1, 2013
  • pp: 1166–1175

Multilayer thin-film phantoms for axial contrast transfer function measurement in optical coherence tomography

Anant Agrawal, Chao-Wei Chen, Jigesh Baxi, Yu Chen, and T. Joshua Pfefer  »View Author Affiliations

Biomedical Optics Express, Vol. 4, Issue 7, pp. 1166-1175 (2013)

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In optical coherence tomography (OCT), axial resolution is one of the most critical parameters impacting image quality. It is commonly measured by determining the point spread function (PSF) based on a specular surface reflection. The contrast transfer function (CTF) provides more insights into an imaging system’s resolving characteristics and can be readily generated in a system-independent manner, without consideration for image pixel size. In this study, we developed a test method for determination of CTF based on multi-layer, thin-film phantoms, evaluated using spectral- and time-domain OCT platforms with different axial resolution values. Phantoms representing six spatial frequencies were fabricated and imaged. The fabrication process involved spin coating silicone films with precise thicknesses in the 8-40 μm range. Alternating layers were doped with a specified concentration of scattering particles. Validation of layer optical properties and thicknesses were achieved with spectrophotometry and stylus profilometry, respectively. OCT B-scans were used to calculate CTFs and results were compared with convetional PSF measurements based on specular reflections. Testing of these phantoms indicated that our approach can provide direct access to axial resolution characteristics highly relevant to image quality. Furthermore, tissue phantoms based on our thin-film fabrication approach may have a wide range of additional applications in optical imaging and spectroscopy.

© 2013 OSA

OCIS Codes
(110.3000) Imaging systems : Image quality assessment
(110.4850) Imaging systems : Optical transfer functions
(170.4500) Medical optics and biotechnology : Optical coherence tomography
(350.4800) Other areas of optics : Optical standards and testing

ToC Category:
Optical Coherence Tomography

Original Manuscript: April 9, 2013
Revised Manuscript: May 28, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: May 29, 2013
Published: June 14, 2013

Anant Agrawal, Chao-Wei Chen, Jigesh Baxi, Yu Chen, and T. Joshua Pfefer, "Multilayer thin-film phantoms for axial contrast transfer function measurement in optical coherence tomography," Biomed. Opt. Express 4, 1166-1175 (2013)

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