Non-invasive Imaging of Retinal Degeneration in Small Animals Using Fourier Domain Optical Coherence Tomography

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(Thesis) M.A.Sc.
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Author: Xu, Jing
A prototype spectrometer based on Fourier Domain Optical Coherence Tomography (FD OCT) system was used as a non-invasive depth resolved medical imaging tool for diagnostic visualization of the retinal structures in vivo. This thesis investigated so-called Spectral Domain (SD) OCT to detect and monitor pathological signs of retinal degeneration in small animals such as mice, rats and Xenopus laevis larvae. Non-invasive SD OCT imaging was validated against invasive retinal cross sectional images (histology) acquired from a nearby region for comparison of specific retinal layers. The retinal layers were manually segmented for quantitative thickness measurements, and followed by statistical analysis to determine the onset of detectable retinal degeneration. The results of this research have demonstrated that FD OCT is a powerful tool for quantitative in vivo measurement of retinal degeneration in small animals.
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