Abstract

We present ultra high speed optical coherence tomography (OCT) with multi-megahertz line rates and investigate the achievable image quality. The presented system is a swept source OCT setup using a Fourier domain mode locked (FDML) laser. Three different FDML-based swept laser sources with sweep rates of 1, 2.6 and 5.2MHz are compared. Imaging with 4 spots in parallel quadruples the effective speed, enabling depth scan rates as high as 20.8 million lines per second. Each setup provides at least 98dB sensitivity and ~10µm resolution in tissue. High quality 2D and 3D imaging of biological samples is demonstrated at full scan speed. A discussion about how to best specify OCT imaging speed is included. The connection between voxel rate, line rate, frame rate and hardware performance of the OCT setup such as sample rate, analog bandwidth, coherence length, acquisition dead-time and scanner duty cycle is provided. Finally, suitable averaging protocols to further increase image quality are discussed.

© 2010 OSA

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    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  45. B. R. Biedermann, W. Wieser, C. M. Eigenwillig, G. Palte, D. C. Adler, V. J. Srinivasan, J. G. Fujimoto, and R. Huber, “Real time en face Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography with direct hardware frequency demodulation,” Opt. Lett. 33(21), 2556–2558 (2008).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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    [CrossRef] [PubMed]

2010 (1)

2009 (8)

B. R. Biedermann, W. Wieser, C. M. Eigenwillig, T. Klein, and R. Huber, “Dispersion, coherence and noise of Fourier domain mode locked lasers,” Opt. Express 17(12), 9947–9961 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

A. Szkulmowska, M. Szkulmowski, D. Szlag, A. Kowalczyk, and M. Wojtkowski, “Three-dimensional quantitative imaging of retinal and choroidal blood flow velocity using joint spectral and time domain optical coherence tomography,” Opt. Express 17(13), 10584–10598 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

R. Leonhardt, B. R. Biedermann, W. Wieser, and R. Huber, “Nonlinear optical frequency conversion of an amplified Fourier domain mode-locked (FDML) laser,” Opt. Express 17(19), 16801–16808 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

B. D. Goldberg, B. J. Vakoc, W. Y. Oh, M. J. Suter, S. Waxman, M. I. Freilich, B. E. Bouma, and G. J. Tearney, “Performance of reduced bit-depth acquisition for optical frequency domain imaging,” Opt. Express 17(19), 16957–16968 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

M. K. K. Leung, A. Mariampillai, B. A. Standish, K. K. C. Lee, N. R. Munce, I. A. Vitkin, and V. X. D. Yang, “High-power wavelength-swept laser in Littman telescope-less polygon filter and dual-amplifier configuration for multichannel optical coherence tomography,” Opt. Lett. 34(18), 2814–2816 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

C. Jirauschek, B. Biedermann, and R. Huber, “A theoretical description of Fourier domain mode locked lasers,” Opt. Express 17(26), 24013–24019 (2009).
[CrossRef]

B. R. Biedermann, W. Wieser, C. M. Eigenwillig, and R. Huber, “Recent developments in Fourier domain mode locked lasers for optical coherence tomography: imaging at 1310 nm vs. 1550 nm wavelength,” J Biophotonics 2(6-7), 357–363 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

K. König, M. Speicher, R. Bückle, J. Reckfort, G. McKenzie, J. Welzel, M. J. Koehler, P. Elsner, and M. Kaatz, “Clinical optical coherence tomography combined with multiphoton tomography of patients with skin diseases,” J Biophotonics 2(6-7), 389–397 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2008 (10)

V. J. Srinivasan, D. C. Adler, Y. L. Chen, I. Gorczynska, R. Huber, J. S. Duker, J. S. Schuman, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Ultrahigh-speed optical coherence tomography for three-dimensional and en face imaging of the retina and optic nerve head,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 49(11), 5103–5110 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

K. Goda, D. R. Solli, and B. Jalali, “Real-time optical reflectometry enabled by amplified dispersive Fourier transformation,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 93(3), 031106 (2008).
[CrossRef]

M. Y. Jeon, J. Zhang, Q. Wang, and Z. Chen, “High-speed and wide bandwidth Fourier domain mode-locked wavelength swept laser with multiple SOAs,” Opt. Express 16(4), 2547–2554 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

T. Bajraszewski, M. Wojtkowski, M. Szkulmowski, A. Szkulmowska, R. Huber, and A. Kowalczyk, “Improved spectral optical coherence tomography using optical frequency comb,” Opt. Express 16(6), 4163–4176 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

C. M. Eigenwillig, B. R. Biedermann, G. Palte, and R. Huber, “K-space linear Fourier domain mode locked laser and applications for optical coherence tomography,” Opt. Express 16(12), 8916–8937 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

D. Choi, H. Hiro-Oka, H. Furukawa, R. Yoshimura, M. Nakanishi, K. Shimizu, and K. Ohbayashi, “Fourier domain optical coherence tomography using optical demultiplexers imaging at 60,000,000 lines/s,” Opt. Lett. 33(12), 1318–1320 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

G. Y. Liu, A. Mariampillai, B. A. Standish, N. R. Munce, X. J. Gu, and I. A. Vitkin, “High power wavelength linearly swept mode locked fiber laser for OCT imaging,” Opt. Express 16(18), 14095–14105 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

B. Potsaid, I. Gorczynska, V. J. Srinivasan, Y. L. Chen, J. Jiang, A. Cable, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Ultrahigh speed spectral / Fourier domain OCT ophthalmic imaging at 70,000 to 312,500 axial scans per second,” Opt. Express 16(19), 15149–15169 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

B. R. Biedermann, W. Wieser, C. M. Eigenwillig, G. Palte, D. C. Adler, V. J. Srinivasan, J. G. Fujimoto, and R. Huber, “Real time en face Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography with direct hardware frequency demodulation,” Opt. Lett. 33(21), 2556–2558 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

T. Klein, W. Wieser, B. R. Biedermann, C. M. Eigenwillig, G. Palte, and R. Huber, “Raman-pumped Fourier-domain mode-locked laser: analysis of operation and application for optical coherence tomography,” Opt. Lett. 33(23), 2815–2817 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2007 (6)

S. H. Yun, G. J. Tearney, B. J. Vakoc, M. Shishkov, W. Y. Oh, A. E. Desjardins, M. J. Suter, R. C. Chan, J. A. Evans, I. K. Jang, N. S. Nishioka, J. F. de Boer, and B. E. Bouma, “Comprehensive volumetric optical microscopy in vivo,” Nat. Med. 12(12), 1429–1433 (2007).
[CrossRef]

D. C. Adler, Y. Chen, R. Huber, J. Schmitt, J. Connolly, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Three-dimensional endomicroscopy using optical coherence tomography,” Nat. Photonics 1(12), 709–716 (2007).
[CrossRef]

S. W. Huang, A. D. Aguirre, R. A. Huber, D. C. Adler, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Swept source optical coherence microscopy using a Fourier domain mode-locked laser,” Opt. Express 15(10), 6210–6217 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

M. W. Jenkins, D. C. Adler, M. Gargesha, R. Huber, F. Rothenberg, J. Belding, M. Watanabe, D. L. Wilson, J. G. Fujimoto, and A. M. Rollins, “Ultrahigh-speed optical coherence tomography imaging and visualization of the embryonic avian heart using a buffered Fourier domain mode locked laser,” Opt. Express 15(10), 6251–6267 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

R. Huber, D. C. Adler, V. J. Srinivasan, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Fourier domain mode locking at 1050 nm for ultra-high-speed optical coherence tomography of the human retina at 236,000 axial scans per second,” Opt. Lett. 32(14), 2049–2051 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Y. L. Chen, D. M. de Bruin, C. Kerbage, and J. F. de Boer, “Spectrally balanced detection for optical frequency domain imaging,” Opt. Express 15(25), 16390–16399 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2006 (4)

2005 (6)

2004 (2)

2003 (4)

1998 (1)

G. Häusler and M. W. Lindner, “‘Coherence radar’ and ‘spectral radar’-new tools for dermatological diagnosis,” J. Biomed. Opt. 3(1), 21–31 (1998).
[CrossRef]

1997 (1)

1995 (1)

A. F. Fercher, C. K. Hitzenberger, G. Kamp, and S. Y. Elzaiat, “Measurement of intraocular distances by backscattering spectral interferometry,” Opt. Commun. 117(1-2), 43–48 (1995).
[CrossRef]

1994 (1)

1991 (1)

D. Huang, E. A. Swanson, C. P. Lin, J. S. Schuman, W. G. Stinson, W. Chang, M. R. Hee, T. Flotte, K. Gregory, C. A. Puliafito, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Optical coherence tomography,” Science 254(5035), 1178–1181 (1991).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Adler, D. C.

V. J. Srinivasan, D. C. Adler, Y. L. Chen, I. Gorczynska, R. Huber, J. S. Duker, J. S. Schuman, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Ultrahigh-speed optical coherence tomography for three-dimensional and en face imaging of the retina and optic nerve head,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 49(11), 5103–5110 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

B. R. Biedermann, W. Wieser, C. M. Eigenwillig, G. Palte, D. C. Adler, V. J. Srinivasan, J. G. Fujimoto, and R. Huber, “Real time en face Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography with direct hardware frequency demodulation,” Opt. Lett. 33(21), 2556–2558 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

R. Huber, D. C. Adler, V. J. Srinivasan, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Fourier domain mode locking at 1050 nm for ultra-high-speed optical coherence tomography of the human retina at 236,000 axial scans per second,” Opt. Lett. 32(14), 2049–2051 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

D. C. Adler, Y. Chen, R. Huber, J. Schmitt, J. Connolly, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Three-dimensional endomicroscopy using optical coherence tomography,” Nat. Photonics 1(12), 709–716 (2007).
[CrossRef]

S. W. Huang, A. D. Aguirre, R. A. Huber, D. C. Adler, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Swept source optical coherence microscopy using a Fourier domain mode-locked laser,” Opt. Express 15(10), 6210–6217 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

M. W. Jenkins, D. C. Adler, M. Gargesha, R. Huber, F. Rothenberg, J. Belding, M. Watanabe, D. L. Wilson, J. G. Fujimoto, and A. M. Rollins, “Ultrahigh-speed optical coherence tomography imaging and visualization of the embryonic avian heart using a buffered Fourier domain mode locked laser,” Opt. Express 15(10), 6251–6267 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

R. Huber, D. C. Adler, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Buffered Fourier domain mode locking: unidirectional swept laser sources for optical coherence tomography imaging at 370,000 lines/s,” Opt. Lett. 31(20), 2975–2977 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Aguirre, A. D.

Akiba, M.

Bajraszewski, T.

Belding, J.

Biedermann, B.

Biedermann, B. R.

Bouma, B. E.

B. D. Goldberg, B. J. Vakoc, W. Y. Oh, M. J. Suter, S. Waxman, M. I. Freilich, B. E. Bouma, and G. J. Tearney, “Performance of reduced bit-depth acquisition for optical frequency domain imaging,” Opt. Express 17(19), 16957–16968 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

S. H. Yun, G. J. Tearney, B. J. Vakoc, M. Shishkov, W. Y. Oh, A. E. Desjardins, M. J. Suter, R. C. Chan, J. A. Evans, I. K. Jang, N. S. Nishioka, J. F. de Boer, and B. E. Bouma, “Comprehensive volumetric optical microscopy in vivo,” Nat. Med. 12(12), 1429–1433 (2007).
[CrossRef]

W. Y. Oh, S. H. Yun, B. J. Vakoc, G. J. Tearney, and B. E. Bouma, “Ultrahigh-speed optical frequency domain imaging and application to laser ablation monitoring,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 88(10), 103902 (2006).
[CrossRef]

W. Y. Oh, S. H. Yun, G. J. Tearney, and B. E. Bouma, “115 kHz tuning repetition rate ultrahigh-speed wavelength-swept semiconductor laser,” Opt. Lett. 30(23), 3159–3161 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

N. A. Nassif, B. Cense, B. H. Park, M. C. Pierce, S. H. Yun, B. E. Bouma, G. J. Tearney, T. C. Chen, and J. F. de Boer, “In vivo high-resolution video-rate spectral-domain optical coherence tomography of the human retina and optic nerve,” Opt. Express 12(3), 367–376 (2004).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

S. H. Yun, G. J. Tearney, J. F. de Boer, and B. E. Bouma, “Removing the depth-degeneracy in optical frequency domain imaging with frequency shifting,” Opt. Express 12(20), 4822–4828 (2004).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

J. F. de Boer, B. Cense, B. H. Park, M. C. Pierce, G. J. Tearney, and B. E. Bouma, “Improved signal-to-noise ratio in spectral-domain compared with time-domain optical coherence tomography,” Opt. Lett. 28(21), 2067–2069 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

S. H. Yun, G. J. Tearney, J. F. de Boer, N. Iftimia, and B. E. Bouma, “High-speed optical frequency-domain imaging,” Opt. Express 11(22), 2953–2963 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

B. Golubovic, B. E. Bouma, G. J. Tearney, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Optical frequency-domain reflectometry using rapid wavelength tuning of a Cr4+:forsterite laser,” Opt. Lett. 22(22), 1704–1706 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Bückle, R.

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[CrossRef]

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Science (1)

D. Huang, E. A. Swanson, C. P. Lin, J. S. Schuman, W. G. Stinson, W. Chang, M. R. Hee, T. Flotte, K. Gregory, C. A. Puliafito, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Optical coherence tomography,” Science 254(5035), 1178–1181 (1991).
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Supplementary Material (4)

» Media 1: MOV (3443 KB)     
» Media 2: MOV (3840 KB)     
» Media 3: MOV (13674 KB)     
» Media 4: MOV (3662 KB)     

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Figures (13)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Comparison of OCT images of the same sample (human finger) acquired with different effective bit depths (ENOB). The actual acquisition was performed with 12 bits and the resolution for individual images was lowered in software during post-processing. Real-world 8 bit ADCs at 1-3GS/s correspond to an image quality similar to the 7 bit image.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

FDML laser “F” with fiber-based filter (FFP-TF), followed by a 4x buffer stage with 2 booster SOAs. (FRM: Faraday rotation mirror; ISO: isolator; AWG: arbitrary waveform generator; PC: polarization controller; LDC: laser diode controller)

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

FDML laser “B8” with bulk Fabry-Perot tunable filter (BFP-TF), followed by an 8x buffer stage with 2 booster SOAs. The laser “B16” differs merely by adding another buffer stage element with 39m fiber delay.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

4-spot interferometer (CIR: circulator; BPD: balanced photo diode).

Fig. 6
Fig. 6

Left: Frames from the 3D data set shown in Fig. 12 (center) acquired with setup B8 at 2.6MHz depth scan rate. Each frame is from a different spot of the multi-spot setup and shows that all 4 spots deliver similar OCT performance. Each frame consists of 600 A-scans with 512 depth samples each; the 2D frame rate during 3D scanning was ~3.6kHz. Right: Interference fringes from the setup B16 acquired at 2.5GS/s as used for imaging. The upper graph shows 25 sweeps and the lower graph is a magnification of the same data set showing a single sweep.

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Left: 4-spot imaging setup with XY-galvo scanner and objective. Right: Alternative approach with multi fiber ferrule.

Fig. 7
Fig. 7

Left: En-face cut (605 х 360 pixel) at depth position 100 samples (0.7mm) showing human nailfold. The fast axis is oriented horizontally. Small images show magnifications of selected image parts. Zipper artifact caused by bidirectional scanning and multispot operation are hardly visible. Right: Typical nearly-isotropic scanning protocol for 3D OCT imaging at 4 х 2.6MHz with setup B8. The final 3D data set has 512 depth samples, 605 A-scans per B-frame and 360 B-frames. Setup B16 is similar but makes use of twice as many A-scans on the fast axis while providing half the number of depth samples. The shown 3D data was acquired with setup B16 at 4 х 5.2MHz line rate (14.6kHz frame rate) and shows human skin with well visible perspiratory glands.

Fig. 8
Fig. 8

Roll-off characteristics of the lasers (F, B8, B16), measured after the booster SOA. The lasers with bulk filters show significant side lobes caused by amplitude modulation over the sweep introduced by an uncoated glass surface within the home built Fabry Perot filter.

Fig. 9
Fig. 9

Direct comparison of imaging performance of the three setups F, B8 and B16 (left to right): The images show in-vivo B-frames of human finger (nail bed) acquired at 1.0, 2.6 and 5.2MHz depth scan rate, respectively. All three images are single non-averaged B-frames consisting of 1250 A-scans each. The corresponding acquisition times were 1.3ms, 480µs and 240µs, respectively. Scale bars denote 1mm in water.

Fig. 10
Fig. 10

Image comparison of the setups F, B8 and B16 (left to right) at 1.0, 2.6 and 5.2MHz depth scan rate showing cellular structures of kiwi (left) and cucumber (center and right). The top row shows single B-frames, each consisting of 800 A-scans and acquired in 800µs, 310µs and 155µs, respectively. The bottom row shows gliding frame averages over several B-frames: For setups B8 and B16 (center, right), the lower images are gliding averages over 5 such B-frames as shown on the top row and taken in intervals of ~1s. For setup F (left), 10 frames consisting of 1024 A-scans of a different location in the kiwi were averaged in acquisition intervals of ~1s. Scale bars denote 1mm in water.

Fig. 11
Fig. 11

Images of cucumber taken with setup B8 at 2.6MHz depth scan rate. A, B: Increased penetration by focusing deeper into the sample while sacrificing sharpness near the surface. (208 A-scans cut out, slow gliding average over 5 frames) C-E: Imaging the same sample at 3 different positions shows that the 2.6MHz system can deliver signal even from 3mm imaging depth as expected from the roll-off performance (670 A-scans cut out, slow gliding average over 5 frames). Scale bars denote 1mm in water.

Fig. 12
Fig. 12

3D reconstructions of OCT data: 3D movies online. Left: (Media 1) Human finger near the nail with certain parts cut out to reveal internal structure. Data acquired with setup F at 1MHz scan rate. The data set consists of 306 frames, each frame has 600 A-scans with 350 depth pixels after cropping. Center: (Media 2; high-resolution version: Media 3) Human finger near the nail consisting of 340 frames, each frame made up of 600 A-scans containing 512 depth samples (cropped to 350 pixels in depth). Imaging was performed with setup B8 at 4 х 2.6MHz depth scan rate. The complete acquisition (including galvo dead times) was performed in 25ms. Right: (Media 4) Human skin taken with setup B16 at 4 х 5.2MHz depth scan rate. The 3D cube consists of 360 frames with a size of 1200 A-scans. Depth samples were zero-padded to 512 samples after FFT and then cropped to 330 pixels. The total acquisition time including galvo dead time was 25ms.

Fig. 13
Fig. 13

Comparison of different averaging protocols. Left: Single B-frame (top) with 600 A-scans and an average over 5 such B-frames (bottom). The images were acquired with setup B16 at 5.2MHz line rate and show human skin with visible perspiratory glands. The averaged frames were acquired at a rate of ~2kHz and show stable speckle behavior as can be seen in the magnified parts. Center: In-vivo image of human skin (finger midjoint) taken with setup B8 at 2.6MHz depth scan rate. The shown image is a gliding average over 5 consecutive B-frames each consisting of 700 depth scans and acquired at a frame rate reduced to ~1Hz. The image not only shows remarkable penetration depth but also reduced noise and speckle. Right: Images of human nailfold with 1200 A-scans taken with setup F at 1MHz depth scan rate. The top image is a single B-frame while the bottom image is an average of 5 such B-frames spaced apart by 12µm/frame along the slow axis and acquired at a frame rate of ~300Hz. The magnifications show the speckle reduction effect. Scale bars denote 1mm in water.

Tables (2)

Tables Icon

Table 1 Comparison of Several Recent High-Speed OCT Systems a

Tables Icon

Table 2 Key Parameters of the 3 Different Setups a

Equations (2)

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=  N P /  T 2 =  N V /  T 3 .
N P =  N A ·  Z N V =  N P ·  N B =  N A ·  N B ·  Z ,

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