While endoscopy is the most commonly used modality for diagnosing upper GI tract disease, this procedure usually requires patient sedation that increases cost and mandates its operation in specialized settings. In addition, endoscopy only visualizes tissue superfically at the macroscopic scale, which is problematic for many diseases that manifest below the surface at a microscopic scale. Our lab has previously developed technology termed tethered capsule OCT endomicroscopy (TCE) to overcome these diagnostic limitations of endoscopy. The TCE device is a swallowable capsule that contains optomechanical components that circumferentially scan the OCT beam inside the body as the pill traverses the organ via peristalsis. While we have successfully imaged ~100 patients with the TCE device, the optics of our current device have many elements and are complex, comprising a glass ferrule, optical fiber, glass spacer, GRIN lens and prism. As we scale up manufacturing of this device for clinical translation, we must decrease the cost and improve the manufacturability of the capsule’s optical configuration.
In this abstract, we report on the design and development of simplificed TCE optics that replace the GRIN lens-based configuration with an angle-polished ball lens design. The new optics include a single mode optical fiber, a glass spacer and an angle polished ball lens, that are all fusion spliced together. The ball lens capsule has resolutions that are comparable with those of our previous GRIN lens configuration (30µm (lateral) × 7 µm (axial)). Results in human subjects show that OCT-based TCE using the ball lens not only provides rapid, high quality microstructural images of upper GI tract, but also makes it possible to implement this technology inexpensively and on a larger scale.
Jing Dong, Michalina J. Gora, Rohith Reddy, Wolfgang Trasischker, Oriane Poupart, Weina Lu, Robert W Carruth, Catriona N. Grant, Amna R. Soomro, Aubrey R. Tiernan, Mireille Rosenberg, Norman S Nishioka, and Guillermo J. Tearney, "Tethered capsule OCT endomicroscopy for upper gastrointestinal tract imaging by using ball lens probe (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9691, Endoscopic Microscopy XI; and Optical Techniques in Pulmonary Medicine III, 96910R (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 15, 2016; Published: 27 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2213931.4828146973001.
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