In-vivo imaging of the palisades of Vogt and the limbal crypts with sub-micrometer axial resolution optical coherence tomography

TitleIn-vivo imaging of the palisades of Vogt and the limbal crypts with sub-micrometer axial resolution optical coherence tomography
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsBizheva, K., B. Tan, B. MacLellan, Z. Hosseinaee, E. Mason, D. Hileeto, and L. Sorbara
JournalBiomedical Optics Express
Volume8
Pagination4141-4151
Keywordsadult, Article, Biological tissues, Blood vessels, Bowman membrane, bright field microscopy, Capillarity, Cellular structure, Collagen, cornea limbus, Cross-sectional OCT images, cross-sectional study, Diagnosis, histology, human, Imaging systems, Lateral resolution, Medical and biological imaging, Medical imaging, Medical optics instrumentation, Microcirculation, microvasculature, Morphological features, Musculoskeletal system, Optical coherence tomography, Optical tomography, palisades of vogt, Reflective properties, slit lamp microscopy, Stem cells, Tissue, Tomography
Abstract

A research-grade OCT system was used to image in-vivo and without contact with the tissue, the cellular structure and microvasculature of the healthy human corneo-scleral limbus. The OCT system provided 0.95 µm axial and 4 µm (2 µm) lateral resolution in biological tissue depending on the magnification of the imaging objective. Cross-sectional OCT images acquired tangentially from the inferior limbus showed reflective, loop-like features that correspond to the fibrous folds of the palisades of Vogt (POV). The high OCT resolution allowed for visualization of individual cells inside the limbal crypts, capillaries extending from the inside of the POV’s fibrous folds and connecting to a lateral grid of micro-vessels located in the connective tissue directly below the POV, as well as reflections from individual red blood cells inside the capillaries. Difference in the reflective properties of the POV was observed among subjects of various pigmentation levels of the POV. Morphological features observed in the high resolution OCT images correlated well with histology. The ability to visualize the limbal morphology and microvasculature in-vivo at cellular level can aid the diagnostics and treatment of limbal stem cell dysfunction and dystrophies. © 2017 Optical Society of America.

DOI10.1364/BOE.8.004141