The objective of this study is to demonstrate that tensile stress resulting due to applied force on cornea can be accurately measured by using a time-domain common-path optical coherence tomography (OCT) system with an external contact reference. The unique design of the common-path OCT is utilized to set up an imaging system in which a chicken eye is placed adjacent to a glass plate serving as the external reference plane for the imaging system. As the force is applied to the chicken eye, it presses against the reference glass plate. The modified OCT image obtained is used to calculate the size of contact area, which is then used to derive the tensile stress on the cornea. The drop in signal levels upon contact of reference glass plate with the tissue are extremely sharp because of the sharp decline in reference power levels itself, thus providing us with an accurate measurement of contact area. The experimental results were in good agreement with the numerical predictions. The results of this study might be useful in providing new insights and ideas to improve the precision and safety of currently used ophthalmic surgical techniques. This research outlines a method which could be used to provide high resolution OCT images and a precise feedback of the forces applied to the cornea simultaneously.
© 2008 Chinese Optics LettersPDF Article