In the March 2017 BioPhotonics edition is a featured interview with 3 industry experts with the title “Where Does OCT Go From Here?”. As the title is already telling is the emphasis on the future of OCT in respect to technology and applications.
We are proud that Prof. Dr. Adrian Podoleanu was chosen to be one of the industrial experts.
We would like to cite with permission from Marcia Stamell (Associate Managing Editor) from the interview:
Q: Where is the next new frontier?
Podoleanu: I envisage two opposing frontiers that will be impacted by further progress of
research. We still do not have a smartphone delivering high-quality OCT images. We expect
smaller and lower-cost devices that can be used by a larger community of ophthalmic
practices. One possibility is integration of several components to improve reliability and
reduce the cost of manufacturing, together with adjacent progress in principles of optical
sources and spectrometers. This will happen more in the commercial world than in the
The other frontier is the push toward higher performance by research in academic labs, with
potential in two main areas. The first is resolution enhancement by embracing large
bandwidth sources, adaptive optics and digital refocusing for medical imaging to achieve
smaller resolving 3D volumes (voxels). The other is topography and 3D visualization of
large objects using long coherence tuning lasers, such as for visualization, orientation and
robotics. By extra efforts, these high-performance avenues may become more attractive to
industry. Both industry and academia are involved in combinations of imaging with novel
tracking methods to eliminate the effects of movement, as well as to create real-time
presentation, for a market that already exists. Industry and academia are also involved with
enhanced methods for 3D delivery of tissue volume and their visualization to serve surgery
for markets that just started to form. Novel processing methods adopt a parallel approach
using graphic cards to obtain images for each depth of interest in parallel, as shown in
Figure 1 where 400 en-face images from 400 depths are produced in parallel with 40
images displayed in real time.
As Prof. Adrian Podoleanu states, one of the challenges is to enhance axial resolution by pushing spectral bandwidth. This is one of the investigation targets in the UBAPHODESA project by combining OCT with supercontinuum sources.