Theses Doctoral

High-speed phase-stable swept source optical coherence tomography: functional imaging and biomedical applications

Ling, Yuye

In the past decades, the performance of swept source optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT) has experienced an unprecedented improvement which is mainly driven by the rapidly evolving laser technologies: the state-of-art SS-OCT is now tens of dB more sensitive, six orders of magnitude faster, and seeing ten times deeper than the original version of time domain OCT. Regardless of the abovementioned progress, the phase instability is always considered the biggest weakness of SS-OCT and the mainstream belief often states that the mechanical tuning mechanism of the swept source is to blame.
In my study, I first developed a high-speed phase-stable SS-OCT based on a new-generation akinetic laser source, which is electrically tuned in wavelength, in the hope of reducing the phase noise to a shot-noise limited level. The experimental results turned out to be contradicted to the conventional phase noise theory, which inspires my discovery of a completely new interpretation for the phase noise in SS-OCT: I proposed that the timing jitter and scanning variability has to be taken into the consideration in the noise model as multiplicative noises. The theory was later validated by another SS-OCT using a different light source. This study for the first time articulated the phase noise’s origin and composition in the SS-OCT.
Although the SS-OCT performs relatively worse in phase stability compared with its spectral-domain counterpart (SD-OCT), it is still valuable since it images at a much faster rate than SD-OCT. Therefore, a better temporal resolution could be achieved, which is particularly attractive in areas such as time lapse imaging. I therefore utilize the system along with other two systems to conduct ex vivo imaging on human tracheobronchial epithelium. It is shown that the SS-OCT system could achieve equally good performance in this task. Moreover, thanks to the higher temporal and temporal frequency resolution, finer structure within the frequency response of the ciliary motion is picked up by our system.
During the study of ex vivo ciliary imaging, one of the challenges I was confronted with was the enormous amount of data generated by the SS-OCT, especially when high temporal frequency resolution is required. We thus came up with an idea of applying the compressive sensing (CS) to reduce the data size. Currently, we have demonstrated some preliminary results with using CS on reference k-clock channel compression. In the future, we will apply the same theory to compress the sample channel data, especially or time lapse OCT imaging.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Electrical Engineering
Thesis Advisors
Hendon, Christine P.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
December 12, 2017