In this chapter we consider mapping of local strains and tissue elasticity in optical coherence tomography (OCT) based on analysis of phase-sensitive OCT scans. Conventional structural OCT scans correspond to spatially resolved mapping of the backscattering intensity of the probing optical beam. Deeper analysis of such sequentially acquired multiple OCT scans can be used to extract additional information about motion of scatterers in the examined region. Such detailed analysis of OCT scans has already resulted in creation of OCT-based visualization of blood microcirculation, which has been implemented in several commercially available devices, especially for ophthalmic applications. Another functional extension of OCT emerging in recent years is the OCT-based elastography, i.e., mapping of local strains and elastic properties in the imaged region. Here, we describe the main principles of local strain mapping in phase-sensitive OCT with a special focus on the recently proposed efficient vector method of estimation of interframe phase-variation gradients. The initially performed mapping of local strains is then used for realization of quantitative compressional elastography, i.e., mapping of the Young modulus and obtaining stress-strain dependences for the studied samples. The discussed principles are illustrated by simulated and experimental examples of elastographic OCT-based visualization. The presented elastographic principles are rather general and can be used in a wide area of biomedical and technical applications.
Part of the book: Optical Coherence Tomography and Its Non-medical Applications