This team created the world’s first real-time 3D OCT imaging system
by using optical coherence tomography (OCT) and a 320-channel data
acquisition system combining NI FlexRIO field-programmable gate array
(FPGA) hardware and GPU processing, .
OCT is a
noninvasive imaging technique that provides subsurface, cross-sectional
images of materials. Interest in OCT technology continues to grow
because it provides much greater resolution than other imaging
techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or positron emission
Additionally, the method does not require much preparation and is extremely safe for the patient because it uses low-level laser outputs and does not require ionizing radiation. OCT uses a low-power light source and the corresponding light reflections to create images – a method similar to ultrasound, but it measures light instead of sound. When the light beam is projected into a sample, much of the light is scattered, but a small amount reflects as a collimated beam, which can be detected and used to create an image.
OCT is a promising diagnostic tool in many medical fields. In OCT applications, imaging speed is crucial for fast inspection and achieving good image quality without motion artifacts. To inspect the human eye, which can be held relatively still using a chin rest, we must use a fast A-scan rate to eliminate all motion artifacts. However, in endoscopic OCT, such as the digestive and respiratory systems, the tissue being imaged cannot be fixed in place, so we must use ultrahigh-speed OCT methods to eliminate motion artifacts. Moreover, in noninvasive real-time optical biopsy, the imaging speed must be fast enough to display the 3D image in real time for immediate diagnosis, just like a conventional endoscope.
A few previous methods have been proposed for ultrahigh-speed OCT, but none have succeeded in real-time display of 3D OCT movies. This article describes how a team led by Dr. Kohji Ohbayashi, Kitasato University, Graduate School of Medical Science, Japan, accomplished this impressive goal.
To read it, click here.