Dual-band spectral-domain optical coherence tomography for in vivo imaging the spectral contrasts of the retinal nerve fiber layer
The ultimate goal of the study is to provide an imaging tool to detect the earliest signs of glaucoma before clinically visible damage occurs to the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL). Studies have shown that the optical reflectance of the damaged RNFL at short wavelength (<560nm) is reduced much more than that at long wavelength, which provides spectral contrast for imaging the earliest damage to the RNFL. To image the spectral contrast we built a dual-band spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) centered at 808nm (NIR) and 415nm (VIS). The light at the two bands was provided by the fundamental and frequency-doubled outputs of a broadband Ti:Sapphire laser. The depth resolution of the NIR and VIS OCT systems are 4.7µm and 12.2µm in the air, respectively. The system was applied to imaging the rat retina in vivo. Significantly different appearances between the OCT cross sectional images at the two bands were observed. The ratio of the light reflected from the RNFL over that reflected from the entire retina at the two bands were quantitatively compared. The experimental results showed that the dual-band OCT system is feasible for imaging the spectral contrasts of the RNFL.