Swept-source based, single-shot, multi-detectable velocity range Doppler optical coherence tomography

Biomed Opt Express. 2010 Sep 16;1(3):955-966. doi: 10.1364/BOE.1.000955.

Abstract

Phase-Resolved Doppler Optical Coherence Tomography (PR-DOCT) allows visualization and characterization of the location, direction, velocity, and profile of flow activity embedded in a static sample structure. The detectable Velocity Dynamic Range (VDR) of each particular PR-DOCT system is governed by a detectable Doppler phase shift, a flow angle, and an acquisition time interval used to determine the Doppler phase shift. In general, the lower boundary of the detectable Doppler phase shift is limited by the phase stability of the system, while the upper boundary is limited by the π phase ambiguity. For a given range of detectable Doppler phase shift, shortening the acquisition duration will increase not only the maximum detectable velocity but unfortunately also the minimum detectable velocity, which may lead to the invisibility of a slow flow. In this paper, we present an alternative acquisition scheme for PR-DOCT that extends the lower limit of the velocity dynamic range, while maintaining the maximum detectable velocity, hence increasing the overall VDR of PR-DOCT system. The essence of the approach is to implement a technique of multi-scale measurement to simultaneously acquire multiple VDRs in a single measurement. We demonstrate an example of implementation of the technique in a dual VDR DOCT, where two Doppler maps having different detectable VDRs were simultaneously detected, processed, and displayed in real time. One was a fixed VDR DOCT capable of measuring axial velocity of up to 10.9 mm/s without phase unwrapping. The other was a variable VDR DOCT capable of adjusting its detectable VDR to reveal slow flow information down to 11.3 μm/s. The technique is shown to effectively extend the overall detectable VDR of the PR-DOCT system. Examples of real time Doppler imaging of an African frog tadpole are demonstrated using the dual-VDR DOCT system.