Abstract

We describe the design, construction, and application of what are believed to be the smallest fiber-optic probes used to date during imaging or diagnosis involving low-coherence interferometry (LCI). The probes use novel fiber-optic gradient-index (GRIN) lenses fabricated by a recently developed modified chemical-vapor-deposition (MCVD) process that avoids on-axis aberrations commonly marring MCVD-fabricated GRIN substrate. Fusing GRIN fiber lenses onto single-mode fiber yields automatically aligned all-fiber probes that insert into tissue through hypodermic needles as small as 31-gauge (inner diameter, 127 µm). We demonstrate the use of such probes with LCI by measuring microscopic brain motions in vivo.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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