Optical Coherence Tomography

  • Stephen A. Boppart
Part of the Springer Series in Optical Sciences book series (SSOS, volume 87)


Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an emerging imaging technique for a wide range of biological, medical, and material investigations [1,2]. Advances in the use of OCT for microscopy applications have provided researchers with a novel means by which biological specimens and non-biological samples are visualized. OCT was initially developed for imaging biological tissue because it permits the imaging of tissue microstructure in situ, yielding micron-scale image resolution without the need for excision of a specimen for tissue processing. OCT is analogous to ultrasound B-mode imaging except that it uses low-coherence light rather than high-frequency sound and performs imaging by measuring the backscattered intensity of light from structures in tissue. OCT can image tissue or specimens in cross-section, as is commonly done in ultrasound, or in en face sections, as in con-focal and multi-photon microscopy. The OCT image is a gray-scale or false-color multi-dimensional representation of backscattered light intensity that represents the differential backscattering contrast between different tissue types on a micron scale. Because OCT performs imaging using light, it has a one to two order-of-magnitude higher spatial resolution than ultrasound and does not require contact with the specimen or sample. The use of light also enables the spectroscopic characterization of tissue and cellular structures.


Optical Coherence Tomography Superluminescent Diode Optical Backscatter Optical Coherence Tomography Technology Optical Coherence Tomography Instrument 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  • Stephen A. Boppart

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