Visible light optical coherence tomography (OCT) theoretically provides finer axial resolution than near-infrared OCT for a given wavelength bandwidth. To realize this potential in the human retina in vivo, the unique technical challenges of visible light OCT must be addressed. We introduce three advances to further the performance of visible light OCT in the human retina. First, we incorporate a grating light valve spatial light modulator (GLV-SLM) spectral shaping stage to modify the source spectrum. This enables comfortable subject alignment with a red light spectrum, and image acquisition with a broad “white light” spectrum, shaped to minimize sidelobes. Second, we develop a novel, Fourier transform-free, software axial motion tracking algorithm with fast, magnetically actuated stage to maintain near-optimal axial resolution and sensitivity in the presence of eye motion. Third, we implement spatially dependent numerical dispersion compensation for the first time in the human eye in vivo. In vivo human retinal OCT images clearly show that the inner plexiform layer consists of 3 hyper-reflective bands and 2 hypo-reflective bands, corresponding with the standard anatomical division of the IPL. Wavelength-dependent images of the outer retina suggest that, beyond merely improving the axial resolution, shorter wavelength visible light may also provide unique advantages for visualizing Bruch’s membrane.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics