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Visible light OCT improves imaging through a highly scattering retinal pigment epithelial wall.

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Here we provide a counter-example to the conventional wisdom in biomedical optics that longer wavelengths aid deeper imaging in tissue. Specifically, we investigate visible light optical coherence tomography of Bruch's membrane (BM) in the non-pathologic eyes of humans and two mouse strains. Surprisingly, we find that shorter visible wavelengths improve the visualization of BM in pigmented eyes, where it is located behind a highly scattering layer of melanosomes in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Monte Carlo simulations of radiative transport suggest that, while absorption and scattering are higher at shorter wavelengths, detected multiply scattered light from the RPE is preferentially attenuated relative to detected backscattered light from the BM.

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