High-speed polarization sensitive optical frequency domain imaging with frequency multiplexing

W Y Oh, S H Yun, B J Vakoc, M Shishkov, A E Desjardins, B H Park, J F de Boer, G J Tearney, B E Bouma
Optics Express 2008 January 21, 16 (2): 1096-103
Polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT) provides a cross-sectional image of birefringence in biological samples that is complementary in many applications to the standard reflectance-based image. Recent ex vivo studies have demonstrated that birefringence mapping enables the characterization of collagen and smooth muscle concentration and distribution in vascular tissues. Instruments capable of applying these measurements percutaneously in vivo may provide new insights into coronary atherosclerosis and acute myocardial infarction. We have developed a polarization sensitive optical frequency domain imaging (PS-OFDI) system that enables high-speed intravascular birefringence imaging through a fiber-optic catheter. The novel design of this system utilizes frequency multiplexing to simultaneously measure reflectance of two incident polarization states, overcoming concerns regarding temporal variations of the catheter fiber birefringence and spatial variations in the birefringence of the sample. We demonstrate circular cross-sectional birefringence imaging of a human coronary artery ex vivo through a flexible fiber-optic catheter with an A-line rate of 62 kHz and a ranging depth of 6.2 mm.

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