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Super-resolved thickness maps of thin film phantoms and in vivo visualization of tear film lipid layer using OCT

Super-resolved thickness maps of thin film phantoms and in vivo visualization of tear film lipid layer using OCT

Biomedical Optics Express 7(7): 2650-2670

ISSN/ISBN: 2156-7085

PMID: 27446696

DOI: 10.1364/boe.7.002650

In optical coherence tomography (OCT), the axial resolution is directly linked to the coherence length of the employed light source. It is currently unclear if OCT allows measuring thicknesses below its axial resolution value. To investigate spectral-domain OCT imaging in the super-resolution regime, we derived a signal model and compared it with the experiment. Several island thin film samples of known refractive indices and thicknesses in the range 46 - 163 nm were fabricated and imaged. Reference thickness measurements were performed using a commercial atomic force microscope. In vivo measurements of the tear film were performed in 4 healthy subjects. Our results show that quantitative super-resolved thickness measurement can be performed using OCT. In addition, we report repeatable tear film lipid layer visualization. Our results provide a novel interpretation of the OCT axial resolution limit and open a perspective to deeper extraction of the information hidden in the coherence volume.

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Accession: 058933911

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