Several specialized retinal optical coherence tomography (OCT) acquisition and processing methods have been recently developed to allow in vivo probing of light-evoked photoreceptors function, focusing on measurements in individual photoreceptors (rods and cones). Recent OCT investigations in humans and experimental animals have shown that the outer segments in dark-adapted rods and cones elongate in response to the visible optical stimuli that bleach fractions of their visual photopigment. We have previously successfully contributed to these developments by implementing OCT intensity-based “optoretinograms” (ORG), the paradigm of using near-infrared OCT (NIR OCT) to measure bleaching-induced back-scattering and/or elongation changes of photoreceptors in the eye in vivo. In parallel, several groups have successfully implemented phase-based ORGs, mainly in human studies, exploiting changes in the phases of back-scattered light. This allowed more sensitive observations of tiny alterations of photoreceptors structures. Applications of the phase-based ORG have been implemented primarily in high speed and cellular resolution AO-OCT systems that can visualize photoreceptor mosaic, allowing phase measurements of path length changes in outer segments of individual photoreceptors. The phase-based ORG in standard resolution OCT systems is much more demanding to implement and has not been explored extensively. This manuscript describes our efforts to implement a phase analysis framework to retinal images acquired with a standard resolution and raster scanning OCT system, which offers much lower phase stability than line-field or full-field OCT detection schemes due to the relatively slower acquisition speed. Our initial results showcase the successful extraction of phase-based ORG signal from the B-scans acquired at ∼100 Hz rate and its favorable comparison with intensity-based ORG signal extracted from the same data sets. We implemented the calculation of phase-based ORG signals using Knox-Thompson paths and modified signal recovery by adding decorrelation weights. The phase-sensitive ORG signal analysis developed here for mouse retinal raster scanning OCT systems could be in principle extended to clinical retinal raster scanning OCT systems, potentially opening doors for clinically friendly ORG probing.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics