Comparison of tissue dispersion measurement techniques based on optical coherence tomography
SourceJournal of Biomedical Optics
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The effects of dispersion on optical coherence tomography (OCT) images have long been documented. The imbalance of spectral broadening, caused by dispersion mismatches in the two arms of the OCT interferometer, can result in significant resolution degradation. Efforts to correct this phenomenon have resulted in improved image quality using various techniques. However, dispersion is also present and varies in tissues. As a result, group velocity dispersion (GVD) can be used to detect changes in tissues and provide useful information for diagnosis. Several methods can be utilized to measure the GVD from OCT images: (i) the degradation of the point spread function (PSF), (ii) the shift (walk-off) between images taken at different wavelengths, (iii) the changes in the second derivative of the spectral phase, as well as two new methods, which do not require a reflector and are applicable in intact tissues, i.e., using (iv) the speckle degradation, and (v) the speckle cross correlation. A systematic, experimental, evaluation of these methods is presented to elucidate the capabilities, the limitations, and the accuracy of each technique when attempting to estimate the GVD in scattering samples. The most precise values were obtained from the estimation of the PSF degradation, whereas using the phase derivative method was only applicable to minimally scattering samples. Speckle broadening appears to be the most robust method for tissue GVD measurements.