Tissue surface as the reference arm in Fourier domain optical coherence tomography

N. Krstajic, C. T. A. Brown, K. Dholakia, and M. E. Giardini

Journal of Biomedical Optics 17(7), 071305 (2012)

doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.17.7.071305

We present a simple method applicable to common-path Fourier domain optical coherence tomography (OCT) in which the tissue surface is used as the reference arm. We propose using aluminium hydroxide powder as a potential tissue surface diffuser to allow wider application of this method. This technique allows one to avoid placing a reference arm reflective element, such as glass plate, on tissue, and intrinsically avoids both coherent and complex conjugate mirror artifacts associated with glass plates. Aluminium hydroxide can be sprayed onto tissue using spray nozzles commonly found in endoscopes. The sensitivity of the tissue reference arm common-path OCT image is 94 dB for a 50-µs charge-coupled device integration time, and 97.5 dB for a 200-µs CCD integration time.