Ultrahigh-resolution optical coherence elastography through a micro-endoscope: towards in vivo imaging of cellular-scale mechanics

Qi Fang*, Andrea Curatolo, Philip Wijesinghe, Yen Ling Yeow, Juliana Hamzah, Peter B. Noble, Karol Karnowski, David D. Sampson, Ruth Ganss, Jun Ki Kim, Woei M. Lee, Brendan F. Kennedy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we describe a technique capable of visualizing mechanical properties at the cellular scale deep in living tissue, by incorporating a gradient-index (GRIN)-lens micro-endoscope into an ultrahigh-resolution optical coherence elastography system. The optical system, after the endoscope, has a lateral resolution of 1.6 µm and an axial resolution of 2.2 µm. Bessel beam illumination and Gaussian mode detection are used to provide an extended depth-of-field of 80 µm, which is a 4-fold improvement over a fully Gaussian beam case with the same lateral resolution. Using this system, we demonstrate quantitative elasticity imaging of a soft silicone phantom containing a stiff inclusion and a freshly excised malignant murine pancreatic tumor. We also demonstrate qualitative strain imaging below the tissue surface on in situ murine muscle. The approach we introduce here can provide high-quality extended-focus images through a micro-endoscope with potential to measure cellular-scale mechanics deep in tissue. We believe this tool is promising for studying biological processes and disease progression in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Article number304351
Pages (from-to)5127-5138
Number of pages12
JournalBiomedical Optics Express
Issue number11
Early online date20 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017


  • Gradient index lenses
  • Image quality
  • Imaging systems
  • Imaging techniques
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Visible light


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