Abstract

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 8mm DOF. A measured invariant resolution of 8μm is demonstrated across a 4mm measured DOF using the micro-optic axicon while achieving an invariant sensitivity of 80dB with a 25mW input power. Double-pass Bessel beam spectral-domain optical coherence tomography with an axicon micro-optic lens (i.e., <1mm 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 4mm measured DOF, which is compared to Gaussian beam imaging.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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