Year: 2019

En-face optical coherence tomography/fluorescence endomicroscopy for minimally invasive imaging using a robotic scanner

We report a compact rigid instrument capable of delivering en-face optical coherence tomography (OCT) images alongside (epi)-fluorescence endomicroscopy (FEM) images by means of a robotic scanning device. Two working imaging channels are included: one for a one-dimensional scanning, forward-viewing OCT probe and another for a fiber bundle used for the FEM system. The robotic scanning system provides the second axis of scanning for the OCT channel while allowing the field of view (FoV) of the FEM channel to be increased by mosaicking. The OCT channel has resolutions of 25  /  60  μm (axial/lateral) and can provide en-face images with an FoV of 1.6  ×  2.7  mm2. The FEM channel has a lateral resolution of better than 8  μm and can generate an FoV of 0.53  ×  3.25  mm2 through mosaicking. The reproducibility of the scanning was determined using phantoms to be better than the lateral resolution of the OCT channel. Combined OCT and FEM imaging were validated with ex-vivo ovine and porcine tissues, with the instrument mounted on an arm to ensure constant contact of the probe with the tissue. The OCT imaging system alone was validated for in-vivo human dermal imaging with the handheld instrument. In both cases, the instrument was capable of resolving fine features such as the sweat glands in human dermal tissue and the alveoli in porcine lung tissue.

Quantitative assessment of rat bone regeneration using complex master-slave optical coherence tomography

The aim of this work is to evaluate the capability of an in-house developed multimodal complex master slave (CMS) enhanced swept source (SS) optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging instrument to analyze the increase in the quantity and the improvement of the quality of newly-formed bone using low level laser therapy (LLLT). Bone formation is quantitatively assessed in 5 mm cylindrical defects made in the calvaria part of the skull of living rats. Samples are divided in three study groups: A, a negative control group, for which the natural healing process of the defect is investigated; B, a positive control group, for which bovine graft is used to stimulate bone formation, and C, a study group, in which bovine graft is added to the created defects and LLLT is applied throughout the entire healing period. The animals are sacrificed after 14, 21, and 30 days, and the samples are imaged using the multimodal CMS/SS-OCT instrument.

Optical Coherence Tomography Investigations and Modeling of the Sintering of Ceramic Crowns

Dental prostheses are sintered in ovens that sometimes suffer from a loss of calibration. This can lead to variations of the sintering temperature outside the range recommended by the manufacturer. Stress and even fractures in dental ceramics may occur, and this leads to the necessity to rebuild the dental construct. The aim of this work is to monitor the quality of sintering processes using an established biomedical imaging technique—optical coherence tomography (OCT). Conventional current procedures imply the fabrication of supplemental samples that add to the expenses and are only evaluated visually. To our knowledge, we were the first to propose the use of OCT, a non-destructive method that brings objectivity for such assessments, focusing, in a previous study, on metal ceramic dental prostheses. Here, a different material, pressed ceramics, is considered, while we propose a quantitative assessment of the results—using reflectivity profiles of en-face (i.e., constant-depth) OCT images of sintered samples. The results for both the pressed ceramics and metal ceramics prostheses are discussed by obtaining the analytic functions of their reflectivity profiles. A multi-parametric analysis demonstrates the best parameter to characterize the loss of calibration of dental ovens. Rules-of-thumb are extracted; producing dental prostheses with efects can thus be avoided.

Fast spectrally encoded Mueller optical scanning microscopy

Mueller microscopes enable imaging of the optical anisotropic properties of biological or non-biological samples, in phase and amplitude, at sub-micrometre scale. However, the development of Mueller microscopes poses an instrumental challenge: the production of polarimetric parameters must be sufficiently quick to ensure fast imaging, so that the evolution of these parameters can be visualised in real-time, allowing the operator to adjust the microscope while constantly monitoring them. In this report, a full Mueller scanning microscope based on spectral encoding of polarization is presented. The spectrum, collected every 10 μs for each position of the optical beam on the specimen, incorporates all the information needed to produce the full Mueller matrix, which allows simultaneous display of all the polarimetric parameters, at the unequalled rate of 1.5 Hz (for an image of 256 × 256 pixels). The design of the optical blocks allows for the real-time display of linear birefringent images which serve as guidance for the operator. In addition, the instrument has the capability to easily switch its functionality from a Mueller to a Second Harmonic Generation (SHG) microscope, providing a pixel-to-pixel matching of the images produced by the two modalities. The device performance is illustrated by imaging various unstained biological specimens.

Down-conversion en-face optical coherence tomography

We present an optical coherence tomography (OCT) method that can deliver an en-face OCT image from a sample in real-time, irrespective of the tuning speed of the swept source. The method, based on the master slave interferometry technique, implements a coherence gate principle by requiring that the optical path difference (OPD) between the arms of an imaging interferometer is the same with the OPD in an interrogating interferometer. In this way, a real-time en-face OCT image can originate from a depth in the sample placed in the imaging interferometer, selected by actuating on the OPD in the interrogating interferometer, while laterally scanning the incident beam over the sample. The generation of the en-face image resembles time domain OCT, with the difference that here the signal is processed based on spectral domain OCT. The optoelectronic processor operates down-conversion of the chirped radio frequency signal delivered by the photo-detector. The down-conversion factor is equal to the ratio of the maximum frequency of the photo-detected signal due to an OPD value matching the coherence length of the swept source, to the sweeping rate. This factor can exceed 106 for long coherence swept sources.