In ophthalmology, a reliable means of diagnosing glaucoma in its early stages is still an open issue. Past efforts, including forays into fluorescent angiography (FA) and early optical coherence tomography (OCT) systems, to develop a potential biomarker for the disease have been explored. However, this development has been hindered by the inability of the current techniques to provide useful depth and microvasculature information of the optic nerve head (ONH), which have been debated as possible hallmarks of glaucoma progression. We reasoned that a system incorporating a spectral-domain OCT (SD-OCT) based Optical Microangiography (OMAG) system, could allow an effective, non-invasive methodology to evaluate effects on microvasculature by glaucoma. SD-OCT follows the principle of light reflection and interference to produce detailed cross-sectional and 3D images of the eye. OMAG produces imaging contrasts via endogenous light scattering from moving particles, allowing for 3D image productions of dynamic blood perfusion at capillary-level resolution. The purpose of this study was to investigate the optic cup perfusion (flow) differences in glaucomatous and normal eyes. Images from three normal and five glaucomatous subjects were analyzed our OCT based OMAG system for blood perfusion and structural images, allowing for comparisons. Preliminary results from blood flow analysis revealed reduced blood perfusion within the whole-depth region encompassing the Lamina Cribrosa in glaucomatous cases as compared to normal ones. We conclude that our OCT-OMAG system may provide promise and viability for glaucoma screening.
Optical probes to identify tumor margins in vivo would greatly reduce the time, effort and complexity in the surgical removal of malignant tissue in head and neck cancers. Current approaches involve visual microscopy of stained tissue samples to determine cancer margins, which results in the excision of excess of tissue to assure complete removal of the cancer. Such surgical procedures and follow-on chemotherapy can adversely affect the patient’s recovery and subsequent quality of life. In order to reduce the complexity of the process and minimize adverse effects on the patient, we investigate ex vivo tissue samples (stained and unstained) using digital holographic microscopy in conjunction with spectroscopic analyses (reflectance and transmission spectroscopy) in order to determine label-free, optically identifiable characteristic features that may ultimately be used for in vivo processing of cancerous tissues. The tissue samples studied were squamous cell carcinomas and associated controls from patients of varying age, gender and race. Holographic microscopic imaging scans across both cancerous and non-cancerous tissue samples yielded amplitude and phase reconstructions that were correlated with spectral signatures. Though the holographic reconstructions and measured spectra indicate variations even among the same class of tissue, preliminary results indicate the existence of some discriminating features. Further analyses are presently underway to further this work and extract additional information from the imaging and spectral data that may prove useful for in vivo surgical identification.