SBIR Phase I:High-speed, 2048 element 1300 nm sensor for real-time OCT imaging
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project addresses the need for high-speed real-time high-resolution cross-sectional images of the internal microstructure of living tissue. This is a fundamental need of modern medical diagnostics that only optical coherence tomography (OCT) can meet. This is particularly important for imaging of the eye, blood vessels, and cancerous non-transparent tissue. Today's systems are relatively slow at 1300 nm, and they have limited depth resolution, which are all drawbacks in identifying tissue and microstructure in real time. The objective of this project is to make a novel sensor chip that can increase the depth of imaging by 2x and increase the sensitivity by 6 dB, all while taking scans at a rate of 195 kHz, giving a real-time imaging solution. This project will implement substantial improvements in readout chip architecture to realize these goals of high speed, large data rate and improved sensitivity.
The broader impact/commercial potential of this project translates mainly in the realization of OCT equipment that will enhance the diagnostic capabilities of many medical disciplines, in particular ophthalmology, cardiology, cancer detection and dentistry. This powerful medical diagnostic tool will help enhance the quality of life of many people. The growth of the OCT market is expected to be very significant, from $200 million today to over $800 million in four years. This high-speed, high-sensitivity OCT sensor will capture a significant part of this market. Its performance is far above the competition, enabling real-time imaging, raising the expectation is that it would not only capture the projected market share, but it should also grow the overall market. Also, significantly, the success of this product will generate hundreds of high-technology jobs in the United States.
Small Business Information at Submission:
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