Optical Coherence Tomography Image Analysis of Corneal Tissue
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Because of the ubiquitous use of contact lenses, there is considerable interest in better understanding the anatomy of the cornea, the part of the eye in contact with an exterior lens. The recent technology developments in high resolution Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) devices allows for the in-vivo observation of the structure of the human cornea in 3D and at cellular level resolution. Prolonged wear of contact lenses, inflammations, scarring and diseases can change the structure and physiology of the human cornea. OCT is capable of in-vivo, non-contact, 3D imaging of the human cornea. In this research, novel image processing algorithms were developed to process OCT images of the human cornea, in order to determine the corneal optical scattering and transmission. The algorithms were applied to OCT data sets acquired from multiple subjects before, during and after prolonged (3 hours) wear of soft contact lenses and eye patches, in order to investigate the changes in the corneal scattering associated with hypoxia. Results from this study demonstrate the ability of OCT to measure the optical scattering of corneal tissue and to monitor its changes resulting from external stress (hypoxia).