Anterior segment imaging using non-invasive high-resolution optical coherence tomography

Robert Montés-Micó, José J. Esteve-Taboada


One of the most important developments in the ophthalmology and visual sciences field has been the application of new techniques for imaging the anterior and posterior segment of the eye with non-contact devices. These techniques have been developed quickly considering that are non-invasive and provide high-resolution images of the different parts of the human eye. Definitely, the most spread and used technique for non-contact imaging of the human eye is the optical coherence tomography (OCT). OCT technique was first demonstrated in 1991 by Huang et al. (1). Based on low-coherence interferometry, OCT has become a prominent biomedical imaging technique with micrometric resolution and cross-sectional imaging capabilities, being particularly suitable for ophthalmic and other tissue imaging applications requiring millimetre penetration depth. Thus, OCT is especially useful in Ophthalmology, given the ease with which light reaches the ocular structures in the anterior and posterior segments. The advantage in its application is that the light impinges directly on the tissue, without the need to use any transducer, only requiring an optical medium sufficiently transparent to obtain a detectable signal. As a curiosity, OCT has also been used for various art conservation projects, where it is used to analyse, for instance, the different layers of a painting.