"Megahertz OCT for ultrawide-field retinal imaging with a 1050nm Fourier domain mode-locked laser"Thomas Klein, Wolfgang Wieser, Christoph M. Eigenwillig, Benjamin R. Biedermann, and Robert Huber
Optics Express, Vol. 19, Issue 4, pp. 3044-3062 (2011)
We demonstrate ultrahigh speed swept source retinal OCT imaging using a Fourier domain mode locked (FDML) laser. The laser uses a combination of a semiconductor optical amplifier and an ytterbium doped fiber amplifier to provide more than 50mW output power. The 1050nm FDML laser uses standard telecom fiber for the km long delay line instead of two orders of magnitude more expensive real single mode fiber. We investigate the influence of this “oligo-mode” fiber on the FDML laser performance. Two design configurations with 684,400 and 1,368,700 axial scans per second are investigated, 25x and 50x faster than current commercial instruments and more than 4x faster than previous single spot ophthalmic results. These high speeds enable the acquisition of densely sampled ultrawide-field data sets of the retina within a few seconds. Ultrawide-field data consisting of 1900 x 1900 A-scans with ~70° degrees angle of view are acquired within only 3 and 6 seconds using the different setups. Such OCT data sets, more than double as large as previously reported, are collapsed to a 4 megapixel high definition fundus image. We achieve good penetration into the choroid by hardware spectral shaping of the laser output. The axial resolution in tissue is 12µm (684kHz) and 19µm (1.37MHz). A series of new data processing and imaging extraction protocols, enabled by the ultrawide-field isotropic data sets, are presented. Dense isotropic sampling enables both, cross-sectional images along arbitrary coordinates and depth-resolved en-face fundus images. Additionally, we investigate how isotropic averaging compares to the averaging of cross-sections along the slow axis.
BMO authors (in alphabetic order):
Fourier Domain Mode Locking (FDML): Spectral mode locking in optics and applications
Optical Coherent Ranging and Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT): Imaging and profilometry with rapidly frequency swept laser sources