Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a powerful biomedical imaging technology that relies on the coherent detection of backscattered light to image tissue morphology in vivo. As a consequence, OCT is susceptible to coherent noise (speckle noise), which imposes significant limitations on its diagnostic capabilities. Here we show speckle-modulating OCT (SM-OCT), a method based purely on light manipulation that virtually eliminates speckle noise originating from a sample. SM-OCT accomplishes this by creating and averaging an unlimited number of scans with uncorrelated speckle patterns without compromising spatial resolution. Using SM-OCT, we reveal small structures in the tissues of living animals, such as the inner stromal structure of a live mouse cornea, the fine structures inside the mouse pinna, and sweat ducts and Meissner's corpuscle in the human fingertip skin-features that are otherwise obscured by speckle noise when using conventional OCT or OCT with current state of the art speckle reduction methods.
View details for DOI 10.1038/ncomms15845
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5481831