OSA Short Course: Optical Coherence Tomography: Tissue Optical Properties Quantification

Andersen 2013

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By Prof. Peter E. Andersen

Research Professor, PhD, Technical University of Denmark, Roskilde, Denmark


This course aims at introducing the basics of optical coherence tomography, and the influence of tissue optical scattering properties on the OCT signal formation. The basics of tissue optical properties will be briefly reviewed in order to appreciate the parameters used for the modeling and its physical origin. The theoretical framework is based on the extended Huygens-Fresnel principle and closed-form solutions allowing simple calculation of the OCT signal are derived. The choice of phase function will be discussed. Comparison to numerical simulations as well as experimental data will be discussed. From this discussion, the potential of extracting tissue optical scattering properties from OCT signals will be discussed in tissues where absorption is negligible. In particular, it will be discussed whether such extraction would form the basis of functional imaging. The performance of OCT imaging is closely connected to the performance of the light source. In this course, the choice of light source is also discussed and some realizations of swept sources are described with emphasis on spectral shaping compensating for e.g. water absorption in retinal imaging. Focus will be on semiconductor-based light sources and their advantages in biophotonics, including optical coherence tomography.

Learning objectives

This course will enable you to:

Intended audience

Engineers, scientists, and physicians who are interested in optical and laser methods and application for medical science and clinics will benefit from this course.
Course level

Course Length



Peter E. Andersen, PhD, MSc.E.E., is a Senior Scientist/Research Professor at the Department of Photonics Engineering, Technical University of Denmark. His main research interests are related to studies of light propagation in biological tissues in relation to OCT imaging, development and applications of diode-based laser systems for OCT, high-power diode lasers for TiS-pumping and biophotonic applications (OCT, MT and CARS), and biomedical imaging applications. He is author or co-author of more than 150 scientific publications, including several book chapters, and of 9 patents.

Personnel to contact with:

Instructor: Prof. Peter E. Andersen