Optical coherence elastography (OCE) has been used to perform mechanical characterization on biological tissue at the microscopic scale. In this work, we used quantitative optical coherence elastography (qOCE), a novel technology we recently developed, to study the nonlinear elastic behavior of biological tissue. The qOCE system had a fiber-optic probe to exert a compressive force to deform tissue under the tip of the probe. Using the space-division multiplexed optical coherence tomography (OCT) signal detected by a spectral domain OCT engine, we were able to simultaneously quantify the probe deformation that was proportional to the force applied, and to quantify the tissue deformation. In other words, our qOCE system allowed us to establish the relationship between mechanical stimulus and tissue response to characterize the stiffness of biological tissue. Most biological tissues have nonlinear elastic behavior, and the apparent stress-strain relationship characterized by our qOCE system was nonlinear an extended range of strain, for a tissuemimicking phantom as well as biological tissues. Our experimental results suggested that the quantification of force in OCE was critical for accurate characterization of tissue mechanical properties and the qOCE technique was capable of differentiating biological tissues based on the elasticity of tissue that is generally nonlinear.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Optical coherence tomography
- Optical sensing and sensors
- Tissue characterization