In biological tissue, longer near-infrared wavelengths generally experience less scattering and more water absorption. Here we demonstrate an optical coherence tomography (OCT) system centered at 2.1 microns, whose bandwidth falls in the 2.2 micron water absorption optical window, for in vivo imaging of the rodent brain. We show in vivo that at 2.1 microns, the OCT signal is actually attenuated less in cranial bone than at 1.3 microns, and is also less susceptible to multiple scattering tails. We also show that the 2.2 micron window enables direct spectroscopic OCT assessment of tissue water content. We conclude that with further optimization, 2.2 micron OCT will have advantages in low-water-content tissue such as bone, as well as applications where extensive averaging is possible to compensate absorption losses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics