Endoscopic imaging in tubular structures, such as the tracheobronchial tree, could benefit from imaging optics with an extended depth of focus (DOF) to accommodate the varying sizes of tubular structures across patients and along the tree within the same patient. Yet the extended DOF needs to be accomplished without sacrificing resolution while maintaining sufficient sensitivity and speed of imaging. In this Letter, we report on the measured resolution and sensitivity achieved with a custom-made micro-optic axicon lens designed to theoretically achieve an 8 mm DOF. A measured invariant resolution of ~8 μm is demonstrated across a 4 mm measured DOF using the micro-optic axicon while achieving an invariant sensitivity of ~80 dB with a 25 mW input power. Double-pass Bessel beam spectral-domain optical coherence tomography with an axicon micro-optic lens (i.e., <1 mm in diameter) is, for the first time to our knowledge, demonstrated in a biological sample demonstrating invariant resolution and signal-to-noise ratio across a 4 mm measured DOF, which is compared to Gaussian beam imaging.
© 2008 Optical Society of AmericaPDF Article