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Using OCT to image the joints

Researchers have developed a low-cost optical coherence tomography device that can be used to assess joint damage

17 Nov 2019 by Selina Powell

Scientists have developed a low-cost optical coherence tomography (OCT) device that can be used to image areas of the body beyond the eye.

The technology, which is described in Optics Letters, uses a thin tube of lenses called a borescope to deliver the infrared light necessary to perform OCT.
 
The diameter of the borescope is only 4mm making the beam delivery component of the device slim without sacrificing the imaging potential, scientists explained.

In order to test the technology, the scientists used the device to measure the thickness of cartilage in pig knees.

The system was able to accurately identify the bone-cartilage interface in samples that were less than 1.1mm thick.

The researchers hope that the system could one day enable clinicians to offer less invasive treatment for joint problems.

Evan Jelly, from Duke University, highlighted the potential for OCT to be adapted to meet a wide range of clinical needs.

“By developing a new portable, low-cost version of OCT, we show that the success of this imaging approach will no longer be limited to ophthalmology applications,” he said.

Image credit: Pixabay/Rawpixel

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