We incorporate, for the first time, optical coherence elastography (OCE) into a needle probe and demonstrate its ability to measure the microscopic deformation of soft tissues located well beyond the depth limit of reports to date. Needle OCE utilizes the force imparted by the needle tip as the loading mechanism and measures tissue deformation ahead of the needle during insertion. Measurements were performed in tissue-mimicking phantoms and ex vivo porcine trachea. Results demonstrate differentiation of tissues based on mechanical properties and highlight the potential of needle OCE for in vivo tissue boundary detection.
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