Optical coherence tomography for ultrahigh resolution in vivo imaging

Nat Biotechnol. 2003 Nov;21(11):1361-7. doi: 10.1038/nbt892.


Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an emerging biomedical optical imaging technique that performs high-resolution, cross-sectional tomographic imaging of microstructure in biological systems. OCT can achieve image resolutions of 1-15 microm, one to two orders of magnitude finer than standard ultrasound. The image penetration depth of OCT is determined by the optical scattering and is up to 2-3 mm in tissue. OCT functions as a type of 'optical biopsy' to provide cross-sectional images of tissue structure on the micron scale. It is a promising imaging technology because it can provide images of tissue in situ and in real time, without the need for excision and processing of specimens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arteries / pathology*
  • Arteries / ultrastructure
  • Image Enhancement / instrumentation*
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Ophthalmoscopes*
  • Ophthalmoscopy / methods*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Technology Assessment, Biomedical
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence / instrumentation*
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence / methods*
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence / trends