A primary limitation of optical coherence microscopy is the lack of sufficient lateral resolution over a usable imaging volume for diagnostic applications, even with high-numerical aperture imaging optics. In this paper, we first motivate the benefit of refocusing at multiple depths in a highly scattering biological sample using optical coherence microscopy, which experimentally shows invariant 2.5 µm axial and 6.5 µm lateral resolution throughout the sample. We then present the optical system design of a hand-held probe with the advanced capability to dynamically focus with no moving parts to a depth of 2 mm in skin-equivalent tissue at 3 µm resolution throughout an 8 cubic millimeter imaging volume. The built-in dynamic focusing ability is investigated with an addressable liquid crystal lens embedded in a custom-designed optics optimized for a Ti:Sa pulsed broadband laser source of bandwidth 100nm centered at 800nm. The design was developed not only to account for refocusing into the tissue but also to minimize and compensate for the varying on-axis and off-axis optical aberrations that would be introduced throughout a 2 mm thick and 2 mm wide skin imaging volume. The MTF contrast functions and distortion plots at three different skin depths are presented.
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