BIOIMAGING/POINT-OF-CARE TESTING: Feasibility study indicates clinical potential for handheld OCT probe

Researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign have described their work to develop a handheld point-of-care diagnostic instrument, based on optical coherence tomography (OCT), in a cover story in the journal IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering.1 Designed to be compact, portable, user-friendly, and fast, the self-contained handheld OCT imaging scanner consists of a pair of computer-controlled galvanometer-mounted mirrors, interchangeable lens mounts, and miniaturized video camera.

The handheld scanner is able to guide the physician in real time to find suspicious areas to be imaged by OCT. To evaluate the performance and applicability of the device, the researchers imaged a number of biological structures: the anterior chamber of a rat eye, an in-vivo human retina, cornea, skin, and tympanic membrane.

“Based on this feasibility study, we believe that this new type of handheld OCT device and system has the potential to be an efficient point-of-care imaging tool in primary care medicine,” the team reports.

1. W. Jung et al., IEEE Trans. on Biomed. Eng. 58, 741–744 (2011).

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