OCT Technology

Optical Coherence Tomography as a non-invasive imaging technology for tissue examination

The tomographic representation of interior structures is an important metrological method as it provides the basis for the assessment and analysis of semi-transparent materials. In many applications, nearsurface structures need to be examined to depths of 3 mm, for example skin tissues in medicine or foil structures in manufacturing environments. Some of the best known non-invasive, tomographic imaging techniques such as sonography and magnetic resonance tomography (MRT), however, suffer from technological limitations and cannot provide the high resolutions necessary to represent extremely thin and fine layers or details in the micrometer range.

The technique of Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is a non-invasive imaging technology that is able to deliver non-invasive and non-destructive representations of semi-transparent materials in cross-section and therefore to characterize tissue morphologies, especially to detect cancer. By applying near infrared spectra, penetration depths of up to several millimeters can be obtained. This opens up a large number of different
applications for clinical usage:

  • Minimally invasive surgery with focus on
    • laparascopy,
    • otolaryngology,
    • neurosurgery,
    • cardiology etc.
  • Non-invasive application fields are among others
    • dermatology and
    • dentistry
  • Point-of-care diagnostics, suitable also as a low-cost application for emerging markets.

The partners within the German-Japanese Research Alliance for Biophotonics expect significant market growth for this kind of biomedical applications and will jointly enforce their further developments in OCT. The transfer of temporary project structures to permanent facilities will be designed so that a self-supporting research facility will be fully operational at the end of the funding period.

Companies who are interested in participating in the network are welcome to get in contact with the members of the “OCTmapp” project team.