The use of contrast agents in almost every imaging modality has been known to enhance the sensitivity of detection and improve diagnostic capabilities by site-specifically labeling tissues or cells of interest. The imaging capabilities of Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) need to be improved in order to detect early neoplastic changes in medicine and tumor biology. We introduce and characterize the optical properties of several types of optical contrast agents in OCT, namely encapsulating microspheres that incorporate materials including melanin, gold, and carbon. Micron-sized microspheres have been fabricated by state-of-the-art sonicating and ultrasound technology. The optical properties of optical contrast agents have been characterized according to their scattering and absorption coefficients and lifetimes using OCT and the oblique incidence reflectometry method. Finally, we demonstrate the use of these optical contrast agents in in vitro mice liver and analyze the contrast improvement from the OCT images. These optical contrast agents have the potential to improve the detection of in vivo pathologies in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProc. SPIE
Subtitle of host publicationGenetically Engineered and Optical Probes for Biomedical Applications
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2003


  • Absorption coefficients
  • Contrast agents
  • Microspheres
  • OCT
  • Scattering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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