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      Modern technologies for retinal scanning and imaging: an introduction for the biomedical engineer

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          This review article is meant to help biomedical engineers and nonphysical scientists better understand the principles of, and the main trends in modern scanning and imaging modalities used in ophthalmology. It is intended to ease the communication between physicists, medical doctors and engineers, and hopefully encourage “classical” biomedical engineers to generate new ideas and to initiate projects in an area which has traditionally been dominated by optical physics. Most of the methods involved are applicable to other areas of biomedical optics and optoelectronics, such as microscopic imaging, spectroscopy, spectral imaging, opto-acoustic tomography, fluorescence imaging etc., all of which are with potential biomedical application. Although all described methods are novel and important, the emphasis of this review has been placed on three technologies introduced in the 1990’s and still undergoing vigorous development: Confocal Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscopy, Optical Coherence Tomography, and polarization-sensitive retinal scanning.

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          Optical coherence tomography.

          A technique called optical coherence tomography (OCT) has been developed for noninvasive cross-sectional imaging in biological systems. OCT uses low-coherence interferometry to produce a two-dimensional image of optical scattering from internal tissue microstructures in a way that is analogous to ultrasonic pulse-echo imaging. OCT has longitudinal and lateral spatial resolutions of a few micrometers and can detect reflected signals as small as approximately 10(-10) of the incident optical power. Tomographic imaging is demonstrated in vitro in the peripapillary area of the retina and in the coronary artery, two clinically relevant examples that are representative of transparent and turbid media, respectively.
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            Optical coherence tomography of the human retina.

            To demonstrate optical coherence tomography for high-resolution, noninvasive imaging of the human retina. Optical coherence tomography is a new imaging technique analogous to ultrasound B scan that can provide cross-sectional images of the retina with micrometer-scale resolution. Survey optical coherence tomographic examination of the retina, including the macula and optic nerve head in normal human subjects. Research laboratory. Convenience sample of normal human subjects. Correlation of optical coherence retinal tomographs with known normal retinal anatomy. Optical coherence tomographs can discriminate the cross-sectional morphologic features of the fovea and optic disc, the layered structure of the retina, and normal anatomic variations in retinal and retinal nerve fiber layer thicknesses with 10-microns depth resolution. Optical coherence tomography is a potentially useful technique for high depth resolution, cross-sectional examination of the fundus.
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              Optical coherence tomography - principles and applications


                Author and article information

                Biomed Eng Online
                Biomed Eng Online
                BioMedical Engineering OnLine
                BioMed Central
                29 April 2014
                : 13
                : 52
                [1 ]Laboratory of Ophthalmic Optics, Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 600 N. Wolfe St., Baltimore MD 21287, USA
                Copyright © 2014 Gramatikov; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.



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