Development of phase-stabilized swept-source OCT for the ultrasensitive quantification of microbubbles
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This paper describes the development of a novel-phase resolved system based on swept-source optical-coherence tomography (SSOCT) for the ultrasensitive imaging and monitoring of gas microbubbles in aqueous media. The developed phase-stabilized SSOCT (PhS-SSOCT) system has an axial resolution of 10 μm, a phase sensitivity of 0.03 rad, an imaging depth of up to 6 mm in air, and a scanning speed of 20 kHz for a single A line. The performance of the sensing system was evaluated in water-containing gas microbubbles with a different diameter. The obtained results demonstrate that bubbles with a diameter greater than 10 μm could be detected by both structural imaging and phase response, whereas bubbles with diameters of less than 10 μm could be detected by the phase response of the SSOCT with a high sensitivity. The accuracy for the measurement of the diameter of gas microbubbles is limited to 10 μm in structural imaging and 0.01 μm in phase-sensitive monitoring. The results from this study indicate that PhS-SSOCT could be used to detect fast-moving microbubbles in aqueous solutions and ultimately could be applied for rapid assessment in biofluids (e.g., blood) and tissues (e.g., skin) in vivo.
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