A compact, low-cost, prismless Ti:Al<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub> laser with 176-nm bandwidth (FWHM) and 20-mW output power was developed. Ultrahigh-resolution ophthalmic optical coherence tomography (OCT) <i>ex vivo</i> imaging in an animal model with ~1.2-μm axial resolution and in vivo imaging in patients with macular pathologies with ~3-μm axial resolution were demonstrated. Owing to the pump laser, this light source significantly reduces the cost of broadband OCT systems. Furthermore, the source has great potential for clinical application of spectroscopic and ultrahigh-resolution OCT because of its small footprint (500 mm×180 mm including the pump laser), user friendliness, stability, and reproducibility.
© 2003 Optical Society of America
(060.7140) Fiber optics and optical communications : Ultrafast processes in fibers
(110.4500) Imaging systems : Optical coherence tomography
(170.3880) Medical optics and biotechnology : Medical and biological imaging
(190.4370) Nonlinear optics : Nonlinear optics, fibers
A. Unterhuber, B. Považay, B. Hermann, H. Sattmann, W. Drexler, V. Yakovlev, G. Tempea, C. Schubert, E. M. Anger, P. K. Ahnelt, M. Stur, J. E. Morgan, A. Cowey, G. Jung, T. Le, and A. Stingl, "Compact, low-cost Ti:Al2O3 laser for in vivo ultrahigh-resolution optical coherence tomography," Opt. Lett. 28, 905-907 (2003)