We study the major factors causing degradation in the lateral resolution of gradient-index-lens-based catheters used for high-resolution optical coherence tomography. Chromatic aberration and astigmatism were taken into account in the propagation of broadband single-mode Gaussian beams through the catheter geometry. It was found that, while chromatic aberration did not preclude achieving high resolution, astigmatism posed a major technical difficulty, because its correction requires a very sensitive adjustment of parameters, especially for catheters with long working distances.
© 2012 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: December 19, 2011
Revised Manuscript: February 6, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: February 10, 2012
Published: March 14, 2012
Vol. 7, Iss. 5 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics
Wladimir A. Benalcazar, Woonggyu Jung, and Stephen A. Boppart, "Aberration characterization for the optimal design of high-resolution endoscopic optical coherence tomography catheters," Opt. Lett. 37, 1100-1102 (2012)