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Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

| EXPLORING THE INTERFACE OF LIGHT AND BIOMEDICINE

  • Editor: Gregory W. Faris
  • Vol. 1, Iss. 7 — Jul. 17, 2006
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Optical frequency domain imaging with a rapidly swept laser in the 815–870 nm range

H. Lim, J. F. de Boer, B. H. Park, E. C. W. Lee, R. Yelin, and S. H. Yun  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 14, Issue 13, pp. 5937-5944 (2006)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.14.005937


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Abstract

Optical frequency domain imaging (OFDI) in the 800-nm biological imaging window is demonstrated by using a novel wavelength-swept laser source. The laser output is tuned continuously from 815 to 870 nm at a 43.2-kHz repetition rate with 7-mW average power. Axial resolution of 10-µm in biological tissue and peak sensitivity of 96 dB are achieved. In vivo imaging of Xenopus laevis is demonstrated with an acquisition speed of 84 frames per second (512 axial lines per frame). This new imaging technique may prove useful in comprehensive retinal screening for medical diagnosis and contrast-agent-based imaging for biological investigations.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

1. Introduction

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an optical imaging modality that provides depth-resolved morphological information [1

1. D. Huang, E. A. Swanson, C. P. Lin, J. S. Schuman, W. G. Stinson, W. Chang, M. R. Hee, T. Flotte, K. Gregory, C. A. Puliafito, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Optical coherence tomography,” Science 254, 1178–1181 (1991). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. Optical frequency domain imaging (OFDI), also known as swept-source OCT, is an emerging new technique for OCT based on swept wavelength interferometry. OFDI offers several advantages, such as higher sensitivity and imaging speed, over conventional time-domain technique. In OFDI, the sample’s axial scattering profile is obtained by detecting spectrally resolved interference as the source wavelength is swept rapidly. Since the detector signal at each wavelength (λ) is directly related, in amplitude and phase, to a corresponding spatial modulation of the refractive index distribution, with a spatial frequency of 2/λ, Fourier transformation of the interference signal produces a depth profile (A-line). This frequency-domain method has been well-known in metrology [2

2. W. SorinD. Derickson, Optical reflectometry for component characterization, in Fiber Optic Test and Measurement ed., (Prentice Hall PTR, 1998).

, 3

3. A. F. Fercher, C. K. Hitzenberger, G. Kamp, and S. Y. Elzaiat, “Measurement of intraocular distances by backscattering spectral interferometry,” Opt. Commun. 117, 43–48 (1995). [CrossRef]

] and its feasibility for imaging has been demonstrated [4

4. S. R. Chinn, E. A. Swanson, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Optical coherence tomography using a frequency-tunable optical source,” Opt. Lett. 22, 340–342 (1997). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

, 5

5. B. Golubovic, B. E. Bouma, G. J. Tearney, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Optical frequency-domain reflectometry using rapid wavelength tuning of a Cr/sup 4+/:forsterite laser,” Opt. Lett. 22, 1704–1706 (1997). [CrossRef]

]. However, only recently has the significance in high-speed biomedical imaging become evident [6

6. S. H. Yun, G. J. Tearney, J. F. de Boer, N. Iftimia, and B. E. Bouma, “High-speed optical frequency-domain imaging,” Opt. Express 11, 2953–2963 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

, 7

7. M. A. Choma, M. V. Sarunic, C. H. Yang, and J. A. Izatt, “Sensitivity advantage of swept source and Fourier domain optical coherence tomography,” Opt. Express 11, 2183–2189 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. To date, developments in OFDI have been focused in a 1300-nm biological window for deep tissue imaging [6

6. S. H. Yun, G. J. Tearney, J. F. de Boer, N. Iftimia, and B. E. Bouma, “High-speed optical frequency-domain imaging,” Opt. Express 11, 2953–2963 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

14

14. W. Y. Oh, S. H. Yun, B. J. Vakoc, G. J. Tearney, and B. E. Bouma, “Ultrahigh-speed optical frequency domain imaging and application to ablation monitoring,” Appl. Phys. Lett.103902 (2006). [CrossRef]

], and more recently in a 1060-nm range [15

15. E. C. W. Lee, J. F. de Boer, M. Mujat, H. Lim, and S. H. Yun, “In vivo optical frequency domain imaging of human retina and choroid,” Opt. Express 14, 4403–4411 (2006), [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. OFDI at shorter wavelengths, particularly 700–900 nm, would be of considerable interest for retinal [16

16. M. R. Hee, J. A. Izatt, E. A. Swanson, D. Huang, J. S. Schuman, C. P. Lin, C. A. Puliafito, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Optical coherence tomography of the human retina,” Arch. Ophthalmol. 113, 325–32 (1995). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

19

19. N. Nassif, B. Cense, B. Park, M. Pierce, S. Yun, B. Bouma, G. Tearney, T. Chen, and J. de Boer, “In vivo high-resolution video-rate spectral-domain optical coherence tomography of the human retina and optic nerve,” Opt. Express 12, 367–376 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] and molecular-contrast imaging [20

20. S. A. Boppart, A. L. Oldenburg, C. Xu, and D. L. Mark, “Optical probes and techniques for molecular contrast enhancement in coherence imaging,” J. Biomed. Opt. 10, 041208 (2005). [CrossRef]

]; however, the unavailability of appropriate light sources with broad tuning range, high sweep speed, and high output power has hampered the development of OFDI in the application-rich imaging window. Compared to spectral-domain OCT in the 800-nm range [8

8. R. Huber, M. Wojtkowski, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Fourier Domain Mode Locking (FDML): A new laser operating regime and applications for optical coherence tomography,” Opt. Express 14, 3225–3237 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

, 9

9. R. Huber, M. Wojtkowski, K. Taira, J. G. Fujimoto, and K. Hsu, “Amplified, frequency swept lasers for frequency domain reflectometry and OCT imaging: design and scaling principles,” Opt. Express 13, 3513–3528 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

], OFDI promises to offer a number of distinct advantages, such as longer depth ranges [21

21. S. H. Yun, G. J. Tearney, J. F. de Boer, and B. E. Bouma, “Removing the depth-degeneracy in optical frequency domain imaging with frequency shifting,” Opt. Express 12, 4822–4828 (2004), [CrossRef] [PubMed]

], simpler polarization-sensitive implementation [12

12. J. Zhang, W. G. Jung, J. S. Nelson, and Z. P. Chen, “Full range polarization-sensitive Fourier domain optical coherence tomography,” Opt. Express 12, 6033–6039 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

], higher imaging speed [8

8. R. Huber, M. Wojtkowski, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Fourier Domain Mode Locking (FDML): A new laser operating regime and applications for optical coherence tomography,” Opt. Express 14, 3225–3237 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

, 14

14. W. Y. Oh, S. H. Yun, B. J. Vakoc, G. J. Tearney, and B. E. Bouma, “Ultrahigh-speed optical frequency domain imaging and application to ablation monitoring,” Appl. Phys. Lett.103902 (2006). [CrossRef]

], and lower sensitivity to motion [22

22. S. H. Yun, G. J. Tearney, J. F. de Boer, and B. E. Bouma, “Motion artifacts in optical coherence tomography with frequency-domain ranging,” Opt. Express 12, 2977–2998 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

].

In this paper, we present the first demonstration of a biomedical OFDI system operating in the 800-nm imaging window. The system offers a high resolution (10 µm in tissue), high imaging speed (43,200 axial scans per second), and high sensitivity (96 dB maximum). The key-enabling element of the system is a wavelength swept laser developed with a state-of-the-art, commercially-available semiconductor optical amplifier. To demonstrate the system’s capability for biomedical imaging, we present an OFDI movie of Xenopus laevis tadpole in vivo.

2. Wavelength-swept laser

Fig. 1. Schematic of the wavelength-swept laser source. SOA; semiconductor optical amplifier. (Inset) the intracavity wavelength scanning filter.

Figure 1 depicts the experimental setup. The swept laser has a unidirectional ring cavity with a free-space isolator (IO-5-NIR, OFR Inc.). The gain medium is a fiber-coupled state-of-the-art semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA-372-850-SM, Superlum Diodes Ltd.) with high gain and broad bandwidth that recently has become available commercially. The intracavity spectral filter [23

23. S. H. Yun, C. Boudoux, G. J. Tearney, and B. E. Bouma, “High-speed wavelength-swept semiconductor laser with a polygon-scanner-based wavelength filter,” Opt. Lett. 28, 1981–1983 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] comprises a diffractive grating (830 grooves/mm), two achromatic lenses in the 4f configuration, and a 72-facet gold-coated polygon mirror (Lincoln Lasers, Inc.). The facet size is 2.77 mm. We rotated the polygonal mirror at 600 revolutions per second to produce unidirectional sweeps from short to long wavelengths at a 43.2-kHz repetition rate. To facilitate unidirectional oscillation, we displaced the beams entering and exiting the filter vertically from each other by adjusting the alignment in the filter. The beams were separated by a metal mirror placed in front of the grating. The focal length of the fiber collimators (PAF-X-5, OFR, Inc.) is 4.6 mm, yielding a beam size of ~0.6 mm FWHM (full width at half maxima) at the grating. The beam incident angle to the grating is 67 +/- 5 deg. The focal lengths of the two lenses in the telescope are 75 (f 1) and 40 (f 2) mm, respectively. A simple calculation [23

23. S. H. Yun, C. Boudoux, G. J. Tearney, and B. E. Bouma, “High-speed wavelength-swept semiconductor laser with a polygon-scanner-based wavelength filter,” Opt. Lett. 28, 1981–1983 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] yields a free-spectral range of 55 nm and FWHM bandwidth of 0.21 nm. The laser output is obtained via a 70% port of a fiber-optic coupler. Two polarization controllers (PC’s) were used to maximize the output power and tuning range.

We measured the spectral and temporal characteristics of the laser output at a 43.2-kHz sweep rate. The SOA was driven with an injection current of 110 mA. Figure 2(a) shows the output spectrum measured with an optical spectrum analyzer in the peak-hold mode at a resolution bandwidth of 0.1 nm. The total tuning range is 55 nm from 815 to 870 nm with a FWHM bandwidth of 38 nm. No significant spectral ripple was observed in the peak-hold output spectrum. The stability of the output power is apparent in the single-shot oscilloscope trace (detection bandwidth: 20 MHz) shown in Fig. 2(b). The power variation between tuning cycles is less than 1%. The instantaneous laser emission contains multiple longitudinal modes; the measured coherence length [Fig. 4(b)] indicates that the FWHM linewidth is 0.085 nm, considerably smaller than the theoretical filter bandwidth of 0.21 nm. We measured the intensity noise of the laser output using an electrical spectrum analyzer (Model E4411B, Agilent) and a low-gain silicon detector, which was less than -130 dB/Hz in the frequency range from 2 to 90 MHz, whereas the noise level increases toward DC, primarily due to envelop modulation in the sweep operation. The fundamental longitudinal mode beat note appeared at 91 MHz. The average output power measured with a power meter was 7 mW. The output contains broadband amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) generated from the SOA. To determine the ASE level, we measured the backward-propagating ASE power by inserting a thin slide glass in the cavity between the filter and SOA. The measured ASE power was 0.56 mW, ~8% of the total laser output power.

Fig. 2. Output characteristics of the wavelength-swept laser. (a) Peak-hold output spectrum on logarithmic (dashed) and linear (solid) scales. (b) Time-domain trace at a 43.2 kHz sweep rate and 7 mW average power.

The large output coupling ratio of our laser (70%) ensured that the peak power at the SOA does not exceed the specified optical damage threshold of 20 mW at the output fiber that corresponds to 50 mW at the gain chip. When this condition was not satisfied in another SOA devices tested, we observed sudden catastrophic optical damage (COD) of the SOA. The COD was localized at the output facet of the chip, as evident from >30-dB reduction in amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) in the forward direction but a minor change in the backward direction. In other devices, slowly progressing degradation (increasing loss) was also observed in the time scale of hours and days (depending on the driving condition,) decreasing the optical gain and eventually frustrating lasing. The COD in high-power 800-nm semiconductor devices has been extensively studied, and a primary mechanism is known to be a thermally-induced material meltdown due to high optical and current densities at the output facet [24

24. M. Fukuda, Reliability and Degradation of Semiconductor Lasers and LEDs, (Artech House Publishers, 1991).

]. Slow degradation may be attributed to the migration of dark line defect facilitated into the active region by an elevated temperature in the device [24

24. M. Fukuda, Reliability and Degradation of Semiconductor Lasers and LEDs, (Artech House Publishers, 1991).

]. The 800-nm devices based on AlGaAs multiple-quantum well are known to have lower COD threshold than aluminium-free 1060- or 1300-nm semiconductor devices. A number of potential solutions may improve the reliability of the gain chip, including surface passivation [25

25. B. M. Green, K. K. Chu, E. M. Chumbes, J. A. Smart, J. R. Shealy, and L. F. Eastman, “The effect of surface passivation on the microwave characteristicsof undoped AlGaN/GaN HEMTs,” IEEE Electron. Dev. Lett. 21, 268–270 (2000). [CrossRef]

] and waveguide designs. This will allow higher gain and bandwidth to be achieved, leading to higher output power and tuning range in a swept laser. As another solution, a feedback control may be implemented to modulate the driving current or cavity loss in response to the monitored instantaneous output power. This active control would limit the injection current at the wavelengths with high gain, but permit more current at the wavelengths with low gain, which maximizes the tuning range. In our laser, high output coupling decreases the intracavity power to avoid the COD and slow degradation, leading to a stable operation observed over one month.

3. Optical frequency domain imaging

Fig. 3. Schematic of the optical frequency domain imaging system.

We constructed an OFDI system using the wavelength-swept laser. A schematic of the system is shown in Fig. 3. The laser output is split into two paths in an interferometer by a 30/70 coupler. One path (a 30% port, “sample arm”) contains a two-axis galvanometer beam scanner and an achromatic imaging lens (f=30 mm). The other path, “a reference arm,” provides a reference beam. In contrast to conventional Michelson interferometer using a reflective reference arm [6

6. S. H. Yun, G. J. Tearney, J. F. de Boer, N. Iftimia, and B. E. Bouma, “High-speed optical frequency-domain imaging,” Opt. Express 11, 2953–2963 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

8

8. R. Huber, M. Wojtkowski, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Fourier Domain Mode Locking (FDML): A new laser operating regime and applications for optical coherence tomography,” Opt. Express 14, 3225–3237 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

], the transmissive reference arm design facilitates power-efficient dual balanced detection without Faraday circulators. The signal beam returning from the sample is combined with the reference beam at a 50/50 coupler to produce interference. The interference signal is detected with a dual-balanced silicon receiver (DC-80 MHz, 1807-FS, New Focus). The receiver output is low-pass filtered (35 MHz) and digitized at a sampling rate of 100 MS/s with a 14-bit data acquisition board (DAQ, NI-5122, National instruments). A small portion (10%) of the reference beam is tapped and detected through a grating filter to provide triggers to the DAQ board [6

6. S. H. Yun, G. J. Tearney, J. F. de Boer, N. Iftimia, and B. E. Bouma, “High-speed optical frequency-domain imaging,” Opt. Express 11, 2953–2963 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. The short trigger rearm time of the board, 2 µs, provides a 100% sampling duty cycle. During each wavelength sweep or A-line scan, a total of 2048 samples are acquired. The sampled data are initially stored in an on-board memory. Upon collecting a desired number of A-line scans, the data set is transferred to a host personal computer, either to the computer memory for real-time processing and display or to the hard disk for post processing. When only a single frame (512 A-lines) is acquired at a time, the system is capable of processing and displaying the images in real time at a frame refresh rate of 5 Hz. The on-line data control and display software was written in Visual C++ [26

26. B. H. Park, M. C. Pierce, B. Cense, S. H. Yun, M. Mujat, G. J. Tearney, B. E. Bouma, and J. F. de Boer, “Real-time fiber-based multi-functional spectral-domain optical coherence tomography at 1.3 µm,” Opt. Express 13, 3931–3944 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. Larger data sets are stored in the 256 MB on-board memory. This allowed us to acquire maximum 65,536 A-line scans consecutively for 1.3 sec, corresponding to 128 images. Post data processing involves reference subtraction, apodization, k-space interpolation, dispersion compensation, followed by Fourier transformation. The methods for each of this process have been described [6

6. S. H. Yun, G. J. Tearney, J. F. de Boer, N. Iftimia, and B. E. Bouma, “High-speed optical frequency-domain imaging,” Opt. Express 11, 2953–2963 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

, 9

9. R. Huber, M. Wojtkowski, K. Taira, J. G. Fujimoto, and K. Hsu, “Amplified, frequency swept lasers for frequency domain reflectometry and OCT imaging: design and scaling principles,” Opt. Express 13, 3513–3528 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

, 15

15. E. C. W. Lee, J. F. de Boer, M. Mujat, H. Lim, and S. H. Yun, “In vivo optical frequency domain imaging of human retina and choroid,” Opt. Express 14, 4403–4411 (2006), [CrossRef] [PubMed]

, 19

19. N. Nassif, B. Cense, B. Park, M. Pierce, S. Yun, B. Bouma, G. Tearney, T. Chen, and J. de Boer, “In vivo high-resolution video-rate spectral-domain optical coherence tomography of the human retina and optic nerve,” Opt. Express 12, 367–376 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. For apodization, we used a custom window function with a square-top bell shape, but other standard functions such as Gaussian or Humming were found to work equally well.

Fig. 4. Sensitivity of the OFDI system as a function of the reference power (a) and depth (b), measured with an attenuated mirror with a -50 dB reflectivity. The dashed lines are theoretical fits.

To characterize and optimize the system, we investigated the axial point spread function by measuring the A-line profile of a partially-reflecting mirror sample (-50 dB reflectivity). Figure 4(a) depicts the sensitivity of the system measured as a function of the reference optical power. The reference power was varied by using a neutral density (ND) filter in the reference arm. Throughout this measurement, the path length difference between the sample and reference arms was maintained at 0.6 mm. The maximum optical power available at the output of the XY scanner was 2.4 mW. With a ND filter (OD=2.5) and 3-dB single-pass loss in the scanner, the optical power returning from the attenuated sample mirror was 3.0 nW at each port of the 50/50 coupler. The sensitivity values were determined by adding the sample attenuation (50 dB) to the measured SNR. The reference power was measured at one of the ports of the 50/50 coupler, which is an average reference power arriving at each photodiode. The result indicates that the optimal range of the reference power is between 30 and 200 µW, and the best sensitivity is ~96 dB.

To understand this result, we used a theoretical model described in [6]. The sensitivity in the unit of decibel can be expressed as: S dB=S 0-10log10(1+a/P r+P r/b)-Δ, where S 0 denotes the shot-noise limited sensitivity, P r is the reference power level, a and b correspond to the reference power levels at which thermal and intensity noise, respectively, are equal in magnitude to shot noise, and Δ is a fitting parameter associated with other contributions to the loss of sensitivity. We took into account amplified spontaneous emission in the output of the laser to estimate S 0 to be 107 dB [6

6. S. H. Yun, G. J. Tearney, J. F. de Boer, N. Iftimia, and B. E. Bouma, “High-speed optical frequency-domain imaging,” Opt. Express 11, 2953–2963 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] and determined a=17 µW from the detector noise level (3.3 pW/√Hz). From the best fit to the experimental data [dotted line in Fig. 4(a)], we obtained b=280 µW and Δ=8 dB. From the value of b and the measured relative intensity noise of the laser (-130 dB/Hz), the common-noise suppression efficiency of the balanced receiver is calculated to be 18 dB, 7 dB lower than the vendor’s specification. We found that the discrepancy is mainly due to the unequal and wavelength-dependent splitting ratio of the nominally 50/50 fiber coupler. We attribute nonzero Δ to several factors, including the flat-spectrum assumption of our model, wavelength-dependent polarization mismatch between the sample and reference beams, and the apodization step in data processing [15

15. E. C. W. Lee, J. F. de Boer, M. Mujat, H. Lim, and S. H. Yun, “In vivo optical frequency domain imaging of human retina and choroid,” Opt. Express 14, 4403–4411 (2006), [CrossRef] [PubMed]

].

Fig. 5. (2.5 MB) A sequence of OFDI images of Xenopus laevis tadpole in vivo placed in a Petri dish filled with saline. A cross section of ventricle (yellow arrow) shows trabeculae within the chamber. Blood in the heart produces strong light scattering, resulting in a shadow region denoted by red asterisk. The saline surface produces relatively strong back reflection (green arrows), and the sample top surface is somewhat flattened due to surface tension of saline. Although the movie was acquired at 84 frames per second, it is displayed at 30 frames per second. Scale bar, 200 µm. [Media 2]

To demonstrate the system’s capability in high-speed, high-resolution biological imaging, we obtained images of a Xenopus laevis tadpole in vivo by scanning the sample beam laterally across the sample. Immediately before imaging, an embryo (stage 48) was anesthetized using 0.02% 3-aminobenzoic acid ethyl ester (MS-222) and positioned in a Petri dish filled with saline, with its ventral surface upward. During imaging, the embryo heart was beating at a rate of approximately 2 Hz (~120 beats per minute). The sample beam has a confocal parameter of 540 µm and a FWHM beam size of 10 µm at the focus in air (n=1). To maximize the resolution, we placed the focal plane in the middle of the heart. The optical power on the sample was 2.4 mW. Figure 5 shows a sequence of cross-sectional images taken as the beam was scanned laterally and repeatedly over the ventricle in the heart. The movie was acquired at a frame rate of 84.4 Hz (512 A-lines per frame) in 1.2 s, but is displayed at a reduced rate of 30 frames per second. Each frame, cropped from the original (500×1024 pixels), has 400×200 pixels and spans 3.3 mm (horizontal) by 1.1 mm (depth, n=1.35). The motion of ventricle and trabeculae within are seen clearly. The ability to image a beating heart with high spatial and temporal resolution may facilitate studies of normal and abnormal cardiac development in vivo [27

27. S. A. Boppart, G. J. Tearney, B. E. Bouma, J. F. Southern, M. E. Brezinski, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Noninvasive assessment of the developing Xenopus cardiovascular system using optical coherence tomography,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 94, 4256–4261 (1997). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. Combined with contrast agents, such as fluorescence dyes [28

28. K. D. Rao, M. A. Choma, S. Yazdanfar, A. M. Rollins, and J. A. Izatt, “Molecular contrast in optical coherence tomography by use of a pump-probe technique,” Opt. Lett. 28, 340–342 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

, 29

29. C. H. Yang, L. E. L. McGuckin, J. D. Simon, M. A. Choma, B. E. Applegate, and J. A. Izatt, “Spectral triangulation molecular contrast optical coherence tomography with indocyanine green as the contrast agent,” Opt. Lett. 29, 2016–2018 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] and gold nanoparticles [30

30. H. Cang, T. Sun, Z. Y. Li, J. Y. Chen, B. J. Wiley, Y. N. Xia, and X. D. Li, “Gold nanocages as contrast agents for spectroscopic optical coherence tomography,” Opt. Lett. 30, 3048–3050 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] developed in the 800-nm region, the OFDI system may be useful in molecular or disease-targeted imaging with the aforementioned advantages over existing time-domain and spectral-domain systems. These studies are, however, beyond the scope of this paper.

4. Conclusion

We have developed a swept laser with a wide tuning range (55 nm) and high repetition rate (43 kHz). The tuning speed (2800 nm/ms) represents >1000-fold improvement over previously demonstrated [4

4. S. R. Chinn, E. A. Swanson, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Optical coherence tomography using a frequency-tunable optical source,” Opt. Lett. 22, 340–342 (1997). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] or commercially available lasers in the 800-nm region. The OFDI system we constructed using the laser source has enabled us to obtain cross-sectional images of a Xenopus laevis with high temporal and spatial resolutions. We expect that future engineering effort (e.g. reducing the 6-dB double-pass loss in the probe, enhancing the dual balancing efficiency, increasing the coherence length of the laser source) can improve the sensitivity of system. In the near future, the high-speed OFDI technology demonstrated here should prove useful in clinical ophthalmic applications and molecular contrast-based biological investigations.

Acknowledgments

This work was supported in part by the National Institute of Health through grants R33 CA110130, R01 EY14975, and R01 RR19768.

References and links

1.

D. Huang, E. A. Swanson, C. P. Lin, J. S. Schuman, W. G. Stinson, W. Chang, M. R. Hee, T. Flotte, K. Gregory, C. A. Puliafito, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Optical coherence tomography,” Science 254, 1178–1181 (1991). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

2.

W. SorinD. Derickson, Optical reflectometry for component characterization, in Fiber Optic Test and Measurement ed., (Prentice Hall PTR, 1998).

3.

A. F. Fercher, C. K. Hitzenberger, G. Kamp, and S. Y. Elzaiat, “Measurement of intraocular distances by backscattering spectral interferometry,” Opt. Commun. 117, 43–48 (1995). [CrossRef]

4.

S. R. Chinn, E. A. Swanson, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Optical coherence tomography using a frequency-tunable optical source,” Opt. Lett. 22, 340–342 (1997). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

5.

B. Golubovic, B. E. Bouma, G. J. Tearney, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Optical frequency-domain reflectometry using rapid wavelength tuning of a Cr/sup 4+/:forsterite laser,” Opt. Lett. 22, 1704–1706 (1997). [CrossRef]

6.

S. H. Yun, G. J. Tearney, J. F. de Boer, N. Iftimia, and B. E. Bouma, “High-speed optical frequency-domain imaging,” Opt. Express 11, 2953–2963 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

7.

M. A. Choma, M. V. Sarunic, C. H. Yang, and J. A. Izatt, “Sensitivity advantage of swept source and Fourier domain optical coherence tomography,” Opt. Express 11, 2183–2189 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

8.

R. Huber, M. Wojtkowski, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Fourier Domain Mode Locking (FDML): A new laser operating regime and applications for optical coherence tomography,” Opt. Express 14, 3225–3237 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

9.

R. Huber, M. Wojtkowski, K. Taira, J. G. Fujimoto, and K. Hsu, “Amplified, frequency swept lasers for frequency domain reflectometry and OCT imaging: design and scaling principles,” Opt. Express 13, 3513–3528 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

10.

B. J. Vakoc, S. H. Yun, J. F. de Boer, G. J. Tearney, and B. E. Bouma, “Phase-resolved optical frequency domain imaging,” Opt. Express 13, 5483–5493 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

11.

Y. Yasuno, V. D. Madjarova, S. Makita, M. Akiba, A. Morosawa, C. Chong, T. Sakai, K. P. Chan, M. Itoh, and T. Yatagai, “Three-dimensional and high-speed swept-source optical coherence tomography for in vivo investigation of human anterior eye segments,” Opt. Express 13, 10652–10664 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

12.

J. Zhang, W. G. Jung, J. S. Nelson, and Z. P. Chen, “Full range polarization-sensitive Fourier domain optical coherence tomography,” Opt. Express 12, 6033–6039 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

13.

M. V. Sarunic, S. Weinberg, and J. A. Izatt, “Full-field swept-source phase microscopy,” Opt. Lett. 31, 1462–1646 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

14.

W. Y. Oh, S. H. Yun, B. J. Vakoc, G. J. Tearney, and B. E. Bouma, “Ultrahigh-speed optical frequency domain imaging and application to ablation monitoring,” Appl. Phys. Lett.103902 (2006). [CrossRef]

15.

E. C. W. Lee, J. F. de Boer, M. Mujat, H. Lim, and S. H. Yun, “In vivo optical frequency domain imaging of human retina and choroid,” Opt. Express 14, 4403–4411 (2006), [CrossRef] [PubMed]

16.

M. R. Hee, J. A. Izatt, E. A. Swanson, D. Huang, J. S. Schuman, C. P. Lin, C. A. Puliafito, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Optical coherence tomography of the human retina,” Arch. Ophthalmol. 113, 325–32 (1995). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

17.

W. Drexler, “Ultrahigh-resolution optical coherence tomography,” J. Biomed. Opt. 9, 47–74 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

18.

M. Wojtkowski, R. Leitgeb, A. Kowalczyk, T. Bajraszewski, and A. F. Fercher, “In vivo human retinal imaging by fourier domain optical coherence tomography,” J. Biomed. Opt. 7, 457–463 (2002). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

19.

N. Nassif, B. Cense, B. Park, M. Pierce, S. Yun, B. Bouma, G. Tearney, T. Chen, and J. de Boer, “In vivo high-resolution video-rate spectral-domain optical coherence tomography of the human retina and optic nerve,” Opt. Express 12, 367–376 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

20.

S. A. Boppart, A. L. Oldenburg, C. Xu, and D. L. Mark, “Optical probes and techniques for molecular contrast enhancement in coherence imaging,” J. Biomed. Opt. 10, 041208 (2005). [CrossRef]

21.

S. H. Yun, G. J. Tearney, J. F. de Boer, and B. E. Bouma, “Removing the depth-degeneracy in optical frequency domain imaging with frequency shifting,” Opt. Express 12, 4822–4828 (2004), [CrossRef] [PubMed]

22.

S. H. Yun, G. J. Tearney, J. F. de Boer, and B. E. Bouma, “Motion artifacts in optical coherence tomography with frequency-domain ranging,” Opt. Express 12, 2977–2998 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

23.

S. H. Yun, C. Boudoux, G. J. Tearney, and B. E. Bouma, “High-speed wavelength-swept semiconductor laser with a polygon-scanner-based wavelength filter,” Opt. Lett. 28, 1981–1983 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

24.

M. Fukuda, Reliability and Degradation of Semiconductor Lasers and LEDs, (Artech House Publishers, 1991).

25.

B. M. Green, K. K. Chu, E. M. Chumbes, J. A. Smart, J. R. Shealy, and L. F. Eastman, “The effect of surface passivation on the microwave characteristicsof undoped AlGaN/GaN HEMTs,” IEEE Electron. Dev. Lett. 21, 268–270 (2000). [CrossRef]

26.

B. H. Park, M. C. Pierce, B. Cense, S. H. Yun, M. Mujat, G. J. Tearney, B. E. Bouma, and J. F. de Boer, “Real-time fiber-based multi-functional spectral-domain optical coherence tomography at 1.3 µm,” Opt. Express 13, 3931–3944 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

27.

S. A. Boppart, G. J. Tearney, B. E. Bouma, J. F. Southern, M. E. Brezinski, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Noninvasive assessment of the developing Xenopus cardiovascular system using optical coherence tomography,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 94, 4256–4261 (1997). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

28.

K. D. Rao, M. A. Choma, S. Yazdanfar, A. M. Rollins, and J. A. Izatt, “Molecular contrast in optical coherence tomography by use of a pump-probe technique,” Opt. Lett. 28, 340–342 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

29.

C. H. Yang, L. E. L. McGuckin, J. D. Simon, M. A. Choma, B. E. Applegate, and J. A. Izatt, “Spectral triangulation molecular contrast optical coherence tomography with indocyanine green as the contrast agent,” Opt. Lett. 29, 2016–2018 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

30.

H. Cang, T. Sun, Z. Y. Li, J. Y. Chen, B. J. Wiley, Y. N. Xia, and X. D. Li, “Gold nanocages as contrast agents for spectroscopic optical coherence tomography,” Opt. Lett. 30, 3048–3050 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

OCIS Codes
(110.4500) Imaging systems : Optical coherence tomography
(120.3180) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Interferometry
(140.3600) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, tunable
(170.3880) Medical optics and biotechnology : Medical and biological imaging
(170.4470) Medical optics and biotechnology : Ophthalmology
(330.4460) Vision, color, and visual optics : Ophthalmic optics and devices

ToC Category:
Imaging Systems

History
Original Manuscript: April 18, 2006
Revised Manuscript: June 9, 2006
Manuscript Accepted: June 14, 2006
Published: June 26, 2006

Virtual Issues
Vol. 1, Iss. 7 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Citation
H. Lim, J. F. de Boer, B. H. Park, E. C. Lee, R. Yelin, and S. H. Yun, "Optical frequency domain imaging with a rapidly swept laser in the 815-870 nm range," Opt. Express 14, 5937-5944 (2006)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/vjbo/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-14-13-5937


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References

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  2. W. Sorin, Optical reflectometry for component characterization, in Fiber Optic Test and Measurement D. Derickson, ed., (Prentice Hall PTR, 1998).
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  5. B. Golubovic, B. E. Bouma, G. J. Tearney, and J. G. Fujimoto, "Optical frequency-domain reflectometry using rapid wavelength tuning of a Cr/sup 4+/:forsterite laser," Opt. Lett. 22, 1704-1706 (1997). [CrossRef]
  6. S. H. Yun, G. J. Tearney, J. F. de Boer, N. Iftimia, and B. E. Bouma, "High-speed optical frequency-domain imaging," Opt. Express 11, 2953-2963 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. M. A. Choma, M. V. Sarunic, C. H. Yang, and J. A. Izatt, "Sensitivity advantage of swept source and Fourier domain optical coherence tomography," Opt. Express 11, 2183-2189 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. R. Huber, M. Wojtkowski, and J. G. Fujimoto, "Fourier Domain Mode Locking (FDML): A new laser operating regime and applications for optical coherence tomography," Opt. Express 14,3225-3237 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  9. R. Huber, M. Wojtkowski, K. Taira, J. G. Fujimoto, and K. Hsu, "Amplified, frequency swept lasers for frequency domain reflectometry and OCT imaging: design and scaling principles," Opt. Express 13, 3513-3528 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. B. J. Vakoc, S. H. Yun, J. F. de Boer, G. J. Tearney, and B. E. Bouma, "Phase-resolved optical frequency domain imaging," Opt. Express 13,5483-5493 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  11. Y. Yasuno, V. D. Madjarova, S. Makita, M. Akiba, A. Morosawa, C. Chong, T. Sakai, K. P. Chan, M. Itoh, and T. Yatagai, "Three-dimensional and high-speed swept-source optical coherence tomography for in vivo investigation of human anterior eye segments," Opt. Express 13, 10652-10664 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  12. J. Zhang, W. G. Jung, J. S. Nelson, and Z. P. Chen, "Full range polarization-sensitive Fourier domain optical coherence tomography," Opt. Express 12, 6033-6039 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  13. M. V. Sarunic, S. Weinberg, and J. A. Izatt, "Full-field swept-source phase microscopy," Opt. Lett. 31, 1462-1646 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  14. W. Y. Oh, S. H. Yun, B. J. Vakoc, G. J. Tearney, and B. E. Bouma, "Ultrahigh-speed optical frequency domain imaging and application to ablation monitoring," Appl. Phys. Lett.103902 (2006). [CrossRef]
  15. E. C. W. Lee, J. F. de Boer, M. Mujat, H. Lim, and S. H. Yun, "In vivo optical frequency domain imaging of human retina and choroid," Opt. Express 14, 4403-4411 (2006), [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  16. M. R. Hee, J. A. Izatt, E. A. Swanson, D. Huang, J. S. Schuman, C. P. Lin, C. A. Puliafito, and J. G. Fujimoto, "Optical coherence tomography of the human retina," Arch. Ophthalmol. 113, 325-32 (1995). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  17. W. Drexler, "Ultrahigh-resolution optical coherence tomography," J. Biomed. Opt. 9, 47-74 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  18. M. Wojtkowski, R. Leitgeb, A. Kowalczyk, T. Bajraszewski, A. F. Fercher, "In vivo human retinal imaging by fourier domain optical coherence tomography," J. Biomed. Opt. 7, 457-463 (2002). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  19. N. Nassif, B. Cense, B. Park, M. Pierce, S. Yun, B. Bouma, G. Tearney, T. Chen, and J. de Boer, "In vivo high-resolution video-rate spectral-domain optical coherence tomography of the human retina and optic nerve," Opt. Express 12, 367-376 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  20. S. A. Boppart, A. L. Oldenburg, C. Xu, and D. L. Mark, "Optical probes and techniques for molecular contrast enhancement in coherence imaging," J. Biomed. Opt. 10, 041208 (2005). [CrossRef]
  21. S. H. Yun, G. J. Tearney, J. F. de Boer, and B. E. Bouma, "Removing the depth-degeneracy in optical frequency domain imaging with frequency shifting," Opt. Express 12, 4822-4828 (2004), [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  22. S. H. Yun, G. J. Tearney, J. F. de Boer, and B. E. Bouma, "Motion artifacts in optical coherence tomography with frequency-domain ranging," Opt. Express 12,2977-2998 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  23. S. H. Yun, C. Boudoux, G. J. Tearney, and B. E. Bouma, "High-speed wavelength-swept semiconductor laser with a polygon-scanner-based wavelength filter," Opt. Lett. 28, 1981-1983 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  24. M. Fukuda, Reliability and Degradation of Semiconductor Lasers and LEDs, (Artech House Publishers, 1991).
  25. B. M. Green, K. K. Chu, E. M. Chumbes, J. A. Smart, J. R. Shealy, and L. F. Eastman, "The effect of surface passivation on the microwave characteristicsof undoped AlGaN/GaN HEMTs," IEEE Electron. Dev. Lett. 21, 268-270 (2000). [CrossRef]
  26. B. H. Park, M. C. Pierce, B. Cense, S. H. Yun, M. Mujat, G. J. Tearney, B. E. Bouma, and J. F. de Boer, "Real-time fiber-based multi-functional spectral-domain optical coherence tomography at 1.3 μm," Opt. Express 13, 3931-3944 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  27. S. A. Boppart, G. J. Tearney, B. E. Bouma, J. F. Southern, M. E. Brezinski, and J. G. Fujimoto, "Noninvasive assessment of the developing Xenopus cardiovascular system using optical coherence tomography," Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 94, 4256-4261 (1997). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  28. K. D. Rao, M. A. Choma, S. Yazdanfar, A. M. Rollins, and J. A. Izatt, "Molecular contrast in optical coherence tomography by use of a pump-probe technique," Opt. Lett. 28, 340-342 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  29. C. H. Yang, L. E. L. McGuckin, J. D. Simon, M. A. Choma, B. E. Applegate, and J. A. Izatt, "Spectral triangulation molecular contrast optical coherence tomography with indocyanine green as the contrast agent," Opt. Lett. 29, 2016-2018 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  30. H. Cang, T. Sun, Z. Y. Li, J. Y. Chen, B. J. Wiley, Y. N. Xia, and X. D. Li, "Gold nanocages as contrast agents for spectroscopic optical coherence tomography," Opt. Lett. 30, 3048-3050 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

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