Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) has revolutionized modern ophthalmology, providing depth resolved images of the retinal layers in a system that is suited to a clinical environment. A limitation on the performance and utilization of the OCT systems has been the lateral resolution; whereas the axial resolution is a function of the light source, the lateral resolution is dependent on the delivery optics. In this thesis, a compact lens based OCT system is presented that is capable of imaging the different retinal layers at a cellular lateral resolution with the combination of wavefront sensorless adaptive optics with dual variable optical elements. The central operating imaging wavelength of the wavelength swept OCT engine was 1060nm, close to the dispersion minimum of water (and the vitreous humor in the eye). A commercially available variable focal length lens is utilized to correct for a wide range of defocus commonly found in patient’s eyes, and a multi-actuator deformable lens for aberration correction to obtain near diffraction limited imaging at the retina. A parallel processing computational platform permitted real-time image acquisition and display. Cross-sectional images of the retinal layers and en face images of the cone photoreceptor mosaic acquired in vivo from research subjects are presented.
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Thesis advisor: Sarunic, Marinko V.
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