We have constructed a parallel optical coherence tomographic (OCT) system that is designed to work with adaptive optics (AO) for imaging single cells in the living human retina. The high-axial resolution of OCT combined with the high-transverse resolution of AO provides a powerful imaging tool whose image quality can surpass either methodology performing alone. 3-D reconstructions were obtained of a stack of cover slips and in vitro bovine retina. Reconstructions of the bovine retina contained sufficient sensitivity to reveal clear stratification of several retinal and choroidal layers, and arrangement of individual blood vessels. The results suggest that an OCT-AO camera should substantially improve our ability to detect single cells in the retina over the current state-of-the-art AO retina cameras.
Bimorph mirrors consist of two layers of piezo-electric ceramic glued together with an electrode pattern between them. They present an inexpensive alternative to more conventional deformable mirrors used in adaptive optics which use discrete piezoelectric actuators. The main technical question in bimorph production is how to produce a high quality mirror surface. Several methods have been tried, including direct polishing of the piezo ceramic and application of replicated surfaces. A prototype bimorph mirror has been developed for the Anglo-Australian Telescope Adaptive Optics system. It uses a layer of silicon dioxide deposited onto the piezo substrate and then polished and coated with silver. This production technique is discussed along with the characteristics of the resulting mirror as determined using a WYKO laser interferometer.