The feasibility of using time domain optical coherence tomography (TD-OCT) to detect compound action potential in a peripheral nerve and the setup characteristics, are studied through the use of finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) technique.
Due to optical coherence tomography (OCT) high spatial and temporal resolution, this technique could be used
to observe the quick changes in the refractive index that accompany action potential. In this study we explore
the use of time domain Optical Coherence Tomography (TD-OCT) for real time action potential detection in ex
vivo Xenopus Laevis sciatic nerve. TD-OCT is the easiest and less expensive OCT technique and, if successful in
detecting real time action potential, it could be used for low cost monitoring devices. A theoretical investigation
into the order of magnitude of the signals detected by a TD-OCT setup is provided by this work. A linear
dependence between the refractive index and the intensity changes is observed and the minimum SNR for which
the setup could work is found to be SNR = 2 x 10<sup>4</sup>.