Fibre imaging bundles for full-field optical coherence tomography

  • Ford H
  • Tatam R
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Abstract

An imaging fibre bundle is incorporated into a full-field imaging optical coherence tomography
system, with the aim of eliminating the mechanical scanning currently required at the probe tip in
endoscopic systems. Each fibre within the imaging bundle addresses a Fizeau interferometer formed
between the bundle end and the sample, a configuration which ensures down-lead insensitivity of the
probe fibres, preventing variations in sensitivity due to polarization changes in the many thousand
constituent fibres. The technique allows acquisition of information across a planar region with
single-shot measurement, in the form of a 2D image detected using a digital CCD camera. Depth
scanning components are now confined within a processing interferometer external to the completely
passive endoscopic probe. The technique has been evaluated in our laboratory for test samples, and
images acquired using the bundle-based system are presented. Data are displayed either as en-face
scans, parallel to the sample surface, or as slices through the depth of the sample, with a spatial
resolution of about 30 µm. The minimum detectable reflectivity at present is estimated to be about
10 −3 , which is satisfactory for many inorganic samples. Methods of improving the signal-to-noise
ratio for imaging of lower reflectivity samples are discussed.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Coherence tomography
  • Coherent fibre bundles
  • Imaging bundles
  • OCT

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Authors

  • H. D. Ford

  • R. P. Tatam

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