PI: John Galeotti
Co-PI(s): Jana Kainerstorfer
University: Carnegie Mellon University

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) allows clinicians to see otherwise invisible structures including ocular layers, vessels, and ducts. Galeotti’s team developed the first real-time in-situ OCT display system with correct optical alignment when viewed through the surgical microscope, and Kainerstorfer is an expert in OCT image-formation physics.

OCT is viewpoint dependent. “Shadow” regions in OCT images occur beyond surfaces that are not enface and beyond semiopaque objects, making structures in the “shadows” difficult or impossible to visualize. Multi-viewpoint OCT imaging can produce more complete images, looking around occluding objects and imaging each subsurface from an acceptable angle. Others have sequentially acquired multiple OCT volumes and then stitched together the results, but simultaneous multi-viewpoint OCT imaging and combined analysis, as required for real-time surgical guidance, has not yet become an active research area.

Achieving this vision will require an unprecedented high-bandwidth, low latency connection to share data between OCT systems and analysis compute nodes, for which Accipiter Systems’ prototype PCIe-based HPEC provides a new path forward. The bandwidth available would additionally enable new research fusing measurements from OCT, 3D high-resolution ultrasound, and even light-field imaging, and transmit it all in a telemedicine context, forming the basis of a series of future NIH and Defense Health grants.

Simultaneous OCT imaging also poses new scientific questions concerning potential photonic interactions of multiple scanners, and it raises the novel possibility of a new OCT imaging paradigm by illuminating from one scanner while observing from two scanners, allowing for the first-time OCT measurements of photons that do not scatter/reflect straight back toward the illuminating scanner. Extending Accipiter’s technology to new medical and IT markets would create a new class of products, scaling upward toward creating 2,000 new high-tech jobs and an additional 8,000 new service industry jobs.