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AMC and LioniX International partner on development of OCT modules

30 Nov 2017

Venture developing PIC-based OCT module that promises handlheld scanners; new paper will showcase work at Photonics West 2018.

LioniX International (LXI) and Academic Medical Center (AMC) of the University of Amsterdam are collaborating on the development of Photonic Integrated Circuit-based Optical Coherence Tomography modules. The partners say that the implementation of PIC-based technologies in OCT modules will enable miniaturized handheld OCT modules and so broaden the scope and application of OCT-based systems.

AMC and LXI have signed a collaboration agreement to accelerate the development of PIC-based OCT modules with a clear link to the clinical testing, which they say is essential for successful market introduction for these modules. Furthermore, both parties are participating in an EU funded Eurostars proposal (OCTIC), intended to further integrate the OCT system by integrating the laser source into the OCT module.

LKI’s PIC platform is based on silicon nitride produced by low pressure chemical vapor deposition and is now branded under the name TriPleXTM. This platform is, with its low loss properties over a broad wavelength range, suitable for OCT modules in a variety of wavelength ranges.

Several papers have already been published by the partners on PIC-based OCT and the latest status of the development at LXI will be presented during Photonics West 2018, in a paper entitled “Spectral domain, common path OCT in a handheld PIC based system” (Paper 10483-55; see below).

Hans van den Vlekkert, CEO of LXI, commented, “Our PIC based technology enables handheld OCT modules for a broad range of applications. With AMC we have found a partner that supports our OCT module development with their expertise and connection to the clinic.”

Medical interest

Within the Biomedical Engineering & Physics department of the AMC, the application of light in medicine is a major research topic. Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is one of the main imaging modalities that is being used both for basic and clinical research.

“OCT is the ‘work horse’ of the biomedical photonics research field“, said Ton van Leeuwen, head of the department. “Integrating the components in photonics chips will further increase both the technical and the clinical capabilities of OCT. Furthermore, PIC-based OCT will not only make the current applications cheaper but also broaden its application scope.”

Paper details

The Photonics West paper, authored by Arne Leinse, Lennart Wevers, Denys Marchenko, Ronald Dekker, René G. Heideman, all of LioniX, will be presented in San Francisco on the afternoon of Tuesday 30th January.

The abstract states, “OCT has made it into the clinic in the last decade with systems based on bulk optical components. The next disruptive step will be the introduction of handheld OCT systems. Photonic Integrated Circuit technology is the key enabler for this further miniaturization.

”PIC technology allows signal processing on a stable platform and the implementation of a common path interferometer in that same platform creates a robust fully integrated OCT system. In this work the first silicon nitride (Triplex™) PIC based handheld and fully integrated common path based spectral domain OCT system is described and demonstrated.”

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