Towards high speed high sensitivity optical coherence tomography for in vivo functional imaging
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an imaging technique that has been widely used in clinics and industrial fields. This dissertation, making use of several emerging techniques, works on improving the imaging speed and sensitivity of current OCT systems so that it will be more powerful in imaging biological tissues, live animals and human patients. Dual-band Fourier domain OCT (FD-OCT) has the potential to provide high quality images that can differentiate different types of tissues. However, previous dual-band FD-OCT systems could not give correct information due to inherited limitations in imaging system setup, sample properties and theory. Our new imaging system overcomes these limitations by using unique hardware and software design. In our imaging system, different false signals are suppressed and the signal attenuation due to samples are compensated using proposed algorithms that derived from theoretical analysis. A video card is used to process data in an ultrahigh speed. With high imaging speed we are able to imaging live animals despite the movement of subjects. The high speed also makes it possible to display the imaging volume interactively in 3D. The image quality and information contained in the images are improved. We further developed an OCT imaging system using a special kind of optical beam called finite energy Airy beam. Compared to OCT system using traditional optical beams, Airy beam OCT has the potential to view a much longer range and view deeper inside the biological tissue.