We report a method for optical monitoring of tumors in an animal model using optical coherence tomography (OCT). In a spectral domain OCT system, a superluminescent diode light source with a full width of 66 nm at half maximum and peak wavelength of 950 nm was used to take images having an axial resolution of 6.8 <i>μ</i>m. Cancer cells of PC-3 were cultured and inoculated into the hypodermis of auricle tissues in BALB/c nude mice. We observed tumor formation and growth at the injection region of cancer cells in vivo and obtained the images of tumor mass center and sparse circumferences. On the 5<sup>th</sup> day from an inoculation of cancer cells, histological images of the tumor region using cross-sectional slicing and dye staining of specimens were taken in order to confirm the correlation with the high resolution OCT images. The OCT image of tumor mass compared with normal tissues was analyzed using its A-scan data so as to obtain a tissue attenuation rate which increases according to tumor growth.

© 2013 Optical Society of Korea

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