Using a single optical fiber and miniature distal optics, spectrally-encoded endoscopy (SEE) has been demonstrated as a promising, three-dimensional endoscopic imaging method with a large number of resolvable points and high frame rates. We present a detailed theoretical study of the SEE prototype system and probe. Several key imaging parameters of SEE are thoroughly derived and formulated, including the three-dimensional point-spread function and field of view, as well as the system’s optical aberrations and fundamental limits. We find that the point-spread function of the SEE system maintains a unique relation between its transverse and axial shapes, discuss the asymmetry of the volumetric field of view, determine that the number of lateral resolvable points is nearly twice than what was previously accepted, and derive an expression for the upper limit for the total number of resolvable points in the cross-sectional image plane.
© 2009 Optical Society of America
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