Renowned scientist answers, "where is OCT heading?"

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) has already begun to revolutionize medical diagnostics, thanks to its ability to enable fast, noninvasive cross-sectional tomographic imaging of internal microstructures in-vivo. No technology has ever been adopted more quickly in the field of ophthalmology, where the technique is has shifted the paradigm for both diagnosis and treatment of vitreous and retinal pathology. Wolfgang Drexler, who played a leading role in the development of OCT, drew a standing-room-only crowd during the 2011 Laser World of Photonics for his presentation that answered the question, "where is OCT heading?"

As OCT celebrates its 20th anniversary, Dr. Drexler has agreed to inspire and inform the online audience through a live, interactive webcast that explores the current and future impact of key developments. On Thursday, August 18, at 3 p.m. Eastern Time, Drexler will discuss the likely trajectory of OCT's future, highlighting promising areas of growth in the technology as well as applications.

This is an exciting time for OCT. According to the report, "Optical Coherence Tomography 2010: Technology, Applications, and Markets," by Strategies Unlimited, the global market for OCT grew from less than $10 million in 2001 to more than $275 million in 2009. By 2012 the market is expected to reach nearly $800 million.

Drexler wrote the introductory article on OCT for BioOptics World’s inaugural issue: OCT imaging leaps to the next generation. Join him as we celebrate the technological and market developments that got us to this point—and the developments that will take us into the next two decades and beyond.

Beyond ophthalmology, cardiology, gastrointestinal imaging, dermatology, and dentistry are applications being actively served and/or explored. OCT is also being adapted for noninvasive blood glucose monitoring as well, and while its use in oncology is in its early stages; in a relatively short time, a significantly diverse number of cancers have been imaged, including breast, bladder, brain, gastrointestinal, respiratory, reproductive tract, skin, and ear, nose and throat.

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