Thorlabs introduces 55 kHz swept source optical coherence tomography system


A swept source optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT) imaging system from Thorlabs (Newton, NJ) incorporates a 55 kHz swept source laser with a center wavelength of 1325 nm to enable noninvasive, real-time imaging of highly scattering tissue at depths up to 6 mm. Features include high-performance software, a 3D scanning probe, and a stand, the latter of which enables coarse and fine axial translation as well as rotation and translation of the sample in the X and Y directions.



Thorlabs Continues Expansion of OCT Product Line

Newton, NJ – January 15, 2011. Thorlabs, the world’s largest manufacturer of research OCT technology, has been dedicated to the development of Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) imaging systems and related products since 2005. Through their efforts, Thorlabs has made OCT accessible for use in a wide range of imaging applications involving highly scattering media, including small animal imaging, skin imaging, developmental biology, vascular imaging, ophthalmology, and quality control.

Thorlabs is now pleased to introduce their new 55 kHz swept source OCT (SS-OCT) imaging system, which employs a novel tunable filter technology with a highly efficient laser cavity design to achieve a broad wavelength tuning range (>120 nm) at high sweep rates. Excellent coherence length (6 mm) is maintained during the high-speed tuning of the swept source laser, which supports greater OCT imaging depths in samples compared to Thorlabs’ currently available 16 kHz SS-OCT imaging system.

Even with this trifold increase in speed, Thorlabs intends to push the envelope even further. The organization and its strategic partner, Praevium Research, in collaboration with the OCT imaging group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have received a three-year research grant from the National Cancer Institute. This funding will support the development and commercialization of a VCSEL-based light source that will be incorporated into Thorlabs’ SS-OCT imaging system. The result will be a new clinical tool capable of in vivo, volumetric imaging of tissue pathology with an unprecedented axial scan rate on the order of 1 MHz.

SS-OCT is a frequency domain OCT technique that measures the magnitude and time delay of reflected light through interferometric techniques. Depth profiles (A-scans) of the sample being imaged are constructed from the interferometric signals. Cross sectional and volumetric images are created through collection of adjacent A-scans. OCT fills a niche between ultrasound and confocal microscopy imaging modalities, offering micron-level imaging resolution and millimeters of imaging depth. In addition to these advantages, the non-contact, noninvasive nature of OCT makes it well suited for imaging samples such as biological tissue and highly scattering materials.

About Thorlabs:
Thorlabs, an active member of the Photonics community for 20 years, manufactures equipment for the photonics industry, including optomechanics, optics, laser diodes, tunable lasers, optical detectors, motion control equipment, and vibration isolation systems. In addition to core photonics equipment, Thorlabs also provides system-level imaging solutions such as our complete OCT, confocal, and multiphoton imaging systems. With offices based in the US, UK, Germany, France, Sweden, Japan, and China, Thorlabs is focused on providing fast response to customer inquiries and same-day shipment for stock items.


Posted by Lee Mather

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