If you are wondering how the Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) technology might evolve in the future, look no further than this latest article by Spahr et al. detailing clinical application of their Phase-Sensitive Full-Field Swept-Source OCT (PhS-FF-SS-OCT) instrument. In this brilliant report the authors describe a great technological advancement of utilizing a parallel SS-OCT detection scheme that allows in vivo retinal imaging at effective A-scan rate of hundreds of MHz. To put this into perspective, it is over three orders of magnitude faster than OCT A-scan rates labeled as “ultra-fast speed” just a decade ago. The potential of this imaging method, offering unprecedented temporal resolution and high accuracy for axial motion detection, is demonstrated in studies of biomechanical properties of the retinal vascular system. This new instrumentation enabled detailed analysis of arterial and venous pulsation including, for the first time, a direct measurement of pulse waves propagating with more than 600 mm/s in retinal vessels. Future application of this technology will surely extend beyond ophthalmology, but even within this field it should open doors to novel measurements of optophysiological effects and thermal expansion monitoring during photocoagulation treatment.
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