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Endoscopic Optical Coherence Tomography: Design and Application


Ren, Jian (2013) Endoscopic Optical Coherence Tomography: Design and Application. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/Z9445JF5.


This thesis presents an investigation on endoscopic optical coherence tomography (OCT). As a noninvasive imaging modality, OCT emerges as an increasingly important diagnostic tool for many clinical applications. Despite of many of its merits, such as high resolution and depth resolvability, a major limitation is the relatively shallow penetration depth in tissue (about 2∼3 mm). This is mainly due to tissue scattering and absorption. To overcome this limitation, people have been developing many different endoscopic OCT systems. By utilizing a minimally invasive endoscope, the OCT probing beam can be brought to the close vicinity of the tissue of interest and bypass the scattering of intervening tissues so that it can collect the reflected light signal from desired depth and provide a clear image representing the physiological structure of the region, which can not be disclosed by traditional OCT. In this thesis, three endoscope designs have been studied. While they rely on vastly different principles, they all converge to solve this long-standing problem.

A hand-held endoscope with manual scanning is first explored. When a user is holding a hand- held endoscope to examine samples, the movement of the device provides a natural scanning. We proposed and implemented an optical tracking system to estimate and record the trajectory of the device. By registering the OCT axial scan with the spatial information obtained from the tracking system, one can use this system to simply ‘paint’ a desired volume and get any arbitrary scanning pattern by manually waving the endoscope over the region of interest. The accuracy of the tracking system was measured to be about 10 microns, which is comparable to the lateral resolution of most OCT system. Targeted phantom sample and biological samples were manually scanned and the reconstructed images verified the method.

Next, we investigated a mechanical way to steer the beam in an OCT endoscope, which is termed as Paired-angle-rotation scanning (PARS). This concept was proposed by my colleague and we further developed this technology by enhancing the longevity of the device, reducing the diameter of the probe, and shrinking down the form factor of the hand-piece. Several families of probes have been designed and fabricated with various optical performances. They have been applied to different applications, including the collector channel examination for glaucoma stent implantation, and vitreous remnant detection during live animal vitrectomy.

Lastly a novel non-moving scanning method has been devised. This approach is based on the EO effect of a KTN crystal. With Ohmic contact of the electrodes, the KTN crystal can exhibit a special mode of EO effect, termed as space-charge-controlled electro-optic effect, where the carrier electron will be injected into the material via the Ohmic contact. By applying a high voltage across the material, a linear phase profile can be built under this mode, which in turn deflects the light beam passing through. We constructed a relay telescope to adapt the KTN deflector into a bench top OCT scanning system. One of major technical challenges for this system is the strong chromatic dispersion of KTN crystal within the wavelength band of OCT system. We investigated its impact on the acquired OCT images and proposed a new approach to estimate and compensate the actual dispersion. Comparing with traditional methods, the new method is more computational efficient and accurate. Some biological samples were scanned by this KTN based system. The acquired images justified the feasibility of the usage of this system into a endoscopy setting. My research above all aims to provide solutions to implement an OCT endoscope. As technology evolves from manual, to mechanical, and to electrical approaches, different solutions are presented. Since all have their own advantages and disadvantages, one has to determine the actual requirements and select the best fit for a specific application.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:optical imaging, optical coherence tomography, endoscopy, biomedical imaging
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Electrical Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Yang, Changhuei
Thesis Committee:
  • Yang, Changhuei (chair)
  • Tai, Yu-Chong
  • Emami, Azita
  • Choo, Hyuck
  • Humayun, Mark
Defense Date:15 November 2012
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Science Foundation Biomimetic Micro- Electronic Systems Engineering Research CenterEEC-0310723
National Science FoundationBES-0547657
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:06172013-155313179
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:7902
Deposited By: Kathy Johnson
Deposited On:10 Oct 2016 22:24
Last Modified:08 Nov 2023 18:41

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