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Published September 2006 | Published
Journal Article Open

Molecular contrast optical coherence tomography: a pump-probe scheme using indocyanine green as a contrast agent


The use of indocyanine green (ICG), a U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved dye, in a pump-probe scheme for molecular contrast optical coherence tomography (MCOCT) is proposed and demonstrated for the first time. In the proposed pump-probe scheme, an optical coherence tomography (OCT) scan of the sample containing ICG is first acquired. High fluence illumination (∼190kJ/cm^2) is then used to permanently photobleach the ICG molecules—resulting in a permanent alteration of the overall absorption of the ICG. A second OCT scan is next acquired. The difference of the two OCT scans is used to determine the depth resolved distribution of ICG within a sample. To characterize the extent of photobleaching in different ICG solutions, we determine the cumulative probability of photobleaching, ϕ_(B,cum), defined as the ratio of the total photobleached ICG molecules to the total photons absorbed by the ground state molecules. An empirical study of ICG photobleaching dynamics shows that ϕ_(B,cum) decreases with fluence as well as with increasing dye concentration. The quantity ϕ_(B,cum) is useful for estimating the extent of photobleaching in an ICG sample (MCOCT contrast) for a given fluence of the pump illumination. The paper also demonstrates ICG-based MCOCT imaging in tissue phantoms as well as within stage 54 Xenopus laevis.

Additional Information

© 2006 SPIE. Received October 17, 2005; Revised May 13, 2006; Accepted June 20, 2006; Published October 26, 2006; Online October 26, 2006. This research was supported by National Institute of Health Grant No. 1RZ1EB004602-1.

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