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Water wavenumber calibration for visible light optical coherence tomography.


Visible light optical coherence tomography (OCT) is emerging for spectroscopic and ultrahigh resolution imaging, but challenges remain. Depth-dependent dispersion limits retinal image quality and current correction approaches are cumbersome. Inconsistent group refractive indices during image reconstruction also limit reproducibility. To introduce and evaluate water wavenumber calibration (WWC), which corrects depth-dependent dispersion and provides an accurate depth axis in water. Enabled by a visible light OCT spectrometer configuration with a 3- to 4-dB sensitivity roll-off over 1 mm in air across a 90-nm bandwidth, we determine the spectral phase of a 1-mm water cell, an affine function of water wavenumber. Via WWC, we reconstruct visible light OCT human retinal images with 1.3-μm depth resolution in water. Images clearly reveal Bruch's membrane, inner plexiform layer lamination, and a thin nerve fiber layer in the temporal parafovea. WWC halves the processing time, while achieving the same image definition as an assumption-free gold standard approach, suggesting that water wavenumber is a suitable proxy for tissue wavenumber. WWC also provides a depth axis in water without explicitly assuming a group refractive index. WWC is a simple method that helps to realize the full potential of visible light OCT.

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