Flow plays an important role during the early development of embryogenesis. Traditionally, ultrasound is used for
embryonic flow monitoring. Ultrasound is sensitive to blood flow, however relatively low resolution (~100 um) refrains
its usage in this area since normally the heart outflow tract of the early embryo is only a few hundred microns. Spectral
optical coherence tomography (SOCT), with high resolution, high acquisition speed and high dynamic range, has been
widely used in biological tissue imaging in recent years. By evaluation of phase difference between consecutive A-scan
lines, spectral optical coherence tomography provides the ability for flow measurement. Thus, spectral optical coherence
tomography has many advantages to ultrasound in early embryo flow measurement.
In order to monitor the blood flow within the outflow tract (OFT) of an early stage chicken embryo, two spectral optical
coherence tomography setups were built in our lab with different central wavelength, i.e. 840nm and 1300nm. The
performances of the two systems is compared, including axial resolution, transverse resolution, penetration depth,
measurable depth, maximum Doppler shift frequency and maximum measurable projection flow velocity. Chicken
embryo heart OFT images were acquired using both the two systems. By comparison, the system with 1300nm
wavelength is more suitable for this application since it has sufficient penetration depth.