Direct en-face, speckle-reduced images using angular-compounded MS-OCT

In this paper, an angular compounding method to achieve speckle contrast reduction in optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging is explored in detail. The angular compounding approach involves collecting multiple images at different angles of incidence, registering the images to correct for induced distortions, and then incoherently summing the images to reduce speckle. The method was experimentally demonstrated with a spectrometer-based Master-Slave enhanced OCT instrument capable of directly generating en-face images. We have investigated the impact of the angular range and number of averaged frames on the degree of speckle artefact reduction, as well as the effect on image resolution and sharpness. The minimum angular step necessary to secure a sufficiently small speckle pattern correlation between the images has also been determined, and the method has subsequently been validated on a biological sample (potato cells).