Aberration-diverse optical coherence tomography for suppression of multiple scattering and speckle

Biomed Opt Express. 2018 Sep 20;9(10):4919-4935. doi: 10.1364/BOE.9.004919. eCollection 2018 Oct 1.


Multiple scattering is a major barrier that limits the optical imaging depth in scattering media. In order to alleviate this effect, we demonstrate aberration-diverse optical coherence tomography (AD-OCT), which exploits the phase correlation between the deterministic signals from single-scattered photons to suppress the random background caused by multiple scattering and speckle. AD-OCT illuminates the sample volume with diverse aberrated point spread functions, and computationally removes these intentionally applied aberrations. After accumulating 12 astigmatism-diverse OCT volumes, we show a 10 dB enhancement in signal-to-background ratio via a coherent average of reconstructed signals from a USAF target located 7.2 scattering mean free paths below a thick scattering layer, and a 3× speckle contrast reduction from an incoherent average of reconstructed signals inside the scattering layer. This AD-OCT method, when implemented using astigmatic illumination, is a promising approach for ultra-deep volumetric optical coherence microscopy.