We developed a universal, real-time uniform K-space sampling (Rt-UKSS) method for high-speed swept-source optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT). An external clock uniform in K-space was generated. The clock was synchronized with the zero-crossing time of an interferometric calibration signal and used as triggers for a high-speed data acquisition system in a point-by-point fashion, hence enabling uniform data sampling in K-space. Different from the numerical calibration algorithm commonly used in an SS-OCT system, the method reported here does not require over-sampling, thus greatly reducing the demand for digitization, data processing and storage speed. The Rt-UKSS method is adaptive and applicable to a generic SS-OCT system of a wide range of A-scan rates without special adjustment. We successfully implemented the Rt-UKSS method in an SS-OCT system based on a Fourier-domain mode-locked laser (FDML) of a 40-kHz scanning rate. Real-time imaging of biological tissues using such a system was demonstrated with a measured axial resolution of 9.3 μm and detection sensitivity greater than 120dB.
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