Manually scanned single fiber optical coherence tomography for skin cancer characterization

Nadiya Chuchvara, Babar Rao, Xuan Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a cross-sectional imaging modality based on low coherence light interferometry. Within dermatology, it has found applications for in vivo diagnostic imaging purposes, as well as to guide Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS), due to its ability to visualize skin morphology up to several millimeters in depth. However, standard OCT probes have a large footprint and capture an extended area of the skin, making it difficult to precisely pinpoint clinically relevant location being imaged. Mohs surgeons stand to benefit from a handheld in vivo imaging device that can accurately trace surgical margins. In this study, we demonstrate the use of a single fiber OCT (sfOCT) instrument. Our imaging system features a miniature common path single fiber probe, and a novel speckle decorrelation technique that generates distortion free 2D images from manual scanning.By manually moving the single-fiber probe across the region of interest, the user can perform a lateral OCT scan while visualizing the location of the probe during data acquisition. Using the sfOCT, we have identified normal skin morphology, qualitatively correlated features of basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma with histopathology, and quantified the disruption of the dermo-epidermal junction OCT pattern in skin tumors—each demonstrating the potential of utilizing sfOCT to differentiate tumor from normal skin. Using this imaging tool, a Mohs surgeon can enhance determination of surgical margins for the first stage of MMS, potentially decreasing the time and number of stages required for complete tumor removal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number15570
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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