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OCT Lens

  • Introduction

Optical Correlation Tomography (OCT) is an imaging technology that has rapidly evolved in the past decade. Leveraging low-coherent light interference, OCT detects the black reflection or several scattered signals of incident weak coherent light at different depths of biological tissues. Through OCT scanning, we can obtain images of two- and three-dimensional structure of the biological tissue. OCT is broadly used in medical imaging and industrial nondestructive testing (NDT).

OCT Working Principle:

OCT is a relatively new technology in ophthalmology. OCT is a non-contact, high-resolution tomography and biological microscope imaging technology. Hence, OCT is ideal for imaging posterior ocular structures (including retina, in vivo viewing, axial tomography and measurement of the retinal nerve fiber layer, macula, and optic disc).
Therefore, in recent years, OCT is becoming increasingly important in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment management of eye diseases such as macular hole, macular sac-like water, diabetic retinopathy, age-related degeneration, and glaucoma.

OCT is categorized into time and frequency domains, each with its own pros and cons. Time-domain OCT is cost-effective and a relatively more mature technology, covering most of the fundus and glaucoma disease examination.


OCT Lens

Application of OCT in Ophthalmology

As a new optical diagnostic technology, OCT performs non-contact, non-invasive tomographic imaging of the microscopic structure of living eye tissue. OCT functions like an optical ultrasound, and its axial resolution depends on the coherence characteristics of the light source, which can reach 10um. 

The penetration depth of OCT is almost unlimited by the transparent refractive medium of the eye, which means that OCT can observe both the anterior and posterior segments of the eye. These characteristics of OCT makes it an ideal candidate for the diagnosis and treatment of intraocular diseases, especially retinal diseases.

1.Ophthalmic OCT detector can perform real-time tomographic imaging and quantitative analysis of the retina, and can effectively diagnose central serous retinopathy (CSR), diabetic retinopathy, central retinal artery occlusion, epiretinal diseases and other pathologies.
2.Ophthalmic OCT detector can analyze the thickness of the optic nerve fiber layer and the structure of the optic disc, which is crucial for the early diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma. Other detection techniques have difficulties achieving accurate measurements as OCT.
3.OCT can accurately obtain fundus tomographic information and assist ophthalmologists to determine macular holes, cystoid macular edema (CME), age-related macular degeneration and other diseases with confidence. The quantitative data in the test reports provide powerful supporting evidence to the diagnosis.
4.OCT can precisely locate the position of the lesions on the fundus, thereby improving the diagnosis and treatment of ophthalmic diseases. OCT can provide accurate data for high-precision treatments such as ophthalmic surgery.
5.OCT can obtain accurate imaging of the recovery progress of the patient post-surgery, and help doctors observe recovery status and other side-effects in real-time after the operation.

Application of OCT in Pathology

One of the most important applications of OCT technology is the detection of early canceration of human soft tissues. Early diagnosis of cancer is the key to saving the lives of patients. Currently, the only definitive diagnosis method is biopsy. Biopsy is time-consuming, and the conclusions from the results often contain degrees of variability depending on the subjective experience of the analyst. Therefore, it is challenging to accurately determine the boundaries of the cancerous area.

OCT offers a unique advantage in this area. Since the principle of OCT technology is reliant upon the spectral characteristics (or response) of the cancerous tissues from healthy tissues, it can accurately create a real-time diagnosis based on the spectral reading. Because a computer is used for signal processing, the results have nothing to do with the subjective factors of the operator. Therefore, with more clinical trials underway, OCT technology has tremendous potential in becoming the golden standard in the diagnosis of Subcutaneous tissue lesions.

OCT in Non-Medical Applications

Given that the original purpose of OCT research was for biomedical tomography, medical applications of the technology continue to dominate. However, OCT technology is also quickly advancing to other fields, especially in industrial measurement such as displacement sensors and thickness measurement of thin film.

Recently, low-conference technology has become a hot technology for high-density data storage. OCT is now being used to measure the residual pores, fiber structure, and the structural integrity of high-scattering polymer molecules. 

Material science is another area where OCT is becoming increasingly relevant. Besides the ability to accurately measure the coating of various materials, recent research studies showcase the broad application of OCT technology. J. P. Dunkers et al. leveraged OCT technology to detect composite materials without damage. M. Bashkansky et al. used an OCT system to detect ceramic materials and expanded the application range of OCT technology. Finally, S. R. Chinn et al. studied the application of OCT in high-density data storage to achieve multilayer optical storage and high-detection sensitivity.

Hyperion Optics works with numerous OCT system manufacturers to design and fabricate custom optical components and complex optomechanical systems. From rapid prototyping to volume production, we support our OCT partners by offering manufacturing input and design optimization to help them gain a competitive edge in the market. For inquiries on how Hyperion can add value to your OCT product lines, please reach out to us.

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