Development of low-cost and portable optical coherence tomography (OCT) systems is of global interest in the OCT research community. Such systems enable utility broadly throughout a clinical facility, or in remote areas that often lack clinical infrastructure. We report the development and validation of a low-cost, portable briefcase spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) system for point-of-care diagnostics in primary care centers and/or in remote settings. The self-contained briefcase OCT contains all associated optical hardware, including light source, spectrometer, hand-held probe, and a laptop. Additionally, this system utilizes unique real-time mosaicking of surface video images that are synchronized with rapid A-scan acquisition to eliminate the need for lateral scanning hardware, and enable the construction of cross-sectional B-mode images over extended lateral distances. The entire briefcase system weighs 9 kg and costs USD8000 using off-the-shelf components. System performance was validated by acquiring images of in vivo human skin on the fingertip, palm, and nail fold. The efficiency, portability, and low-cost enable accessibility and utility in primary care centers and low-resource settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number096003
JournalJournal of biomedical optics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018


  • diagnostics
  • handheld
  • optical coherence tomography
  • point-of-care
  • system development; spectrometers.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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