Ophthalmic Optical Coherence Tomography

Period of Performance: 12/01/2008 - 11/30/2009


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Bioptigen, Inc.
Durham, NC 27709
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This Phase II Small Business Innovative Research application proposes to dramatically expand the commercial availability of optical coherence tomography (OCT) technology for pre-clinical human and animal research applications by commercializing Fourier-domain OCT (FD-OCT) technology and developing robust interfaces for retinal OCT imaging in a wide variety of subject classes. Fourier domain OCT (FD-OCT) is a recent innovation which has significant advantages in sensitivity and robustness compared to conventional time-domain OCT (TD-OCT) systems. In the Phase I project, a novel Swept Source OCT (SS-OCT) system for retinal imaging was proposed and implemented, however the system performance was hampered by the availability of swept laser components at the 830nm wavelength, resulting in low power and a slow sweep rate. Simultaneous with development of the swept-source 830nm laser by a subcontractor, a second retinal imager based on Spectral Domain OCT (SD-OCT) was successfully developed at Bioptigen. SD-OCT is an alternative form of FD-OCT, in which a broad band light source and a spectrometer are used in place of a rapidly swept laser source. The Bioptigen SD-OCT imager exhibited outstanding performance, with 6 micrometer axial resolution, 106 dB of SNR at a real-time image update rate of 17 images per second (at 1000 axial lines per image), and user-friendly software. The proposed Phase II project will continue the development of our high-performance SD-OCT retinal scanner system, adding additional functionality and moving the system from an engineering beta prototype to a commercial system. Our team of investigators, subcontractors, and consultants includes experts in optoelectronic component manufacturing (the basis of OCT technology), optical sensing, one of the original developers of OCT systems for retinal and anterior segment imaging, and a leading expert in human and animal research applications of OCT. The specific aims of the proposal are to: 1. Design and build a production prototype 820 nm SD-OCT engine, 2. Develop high speed "OCT Fundus" imaging, 3. Build a modular platform interface for non-contact imaging in humans and research animals, 4. Develop handheld SD-OCT probes for contact imaging in humans and research animals, and 5. Develop and test an enhanced software suite for the OCT retinal scanner.