The team at Miniprobes design and build exquisitely small imaging probes for optical coherence tomography (OCT). Each probe is encased in a stainless steel needle, allowing you to insert the probe deep below the surface of whatever you want to image.

Our customised handpiece contains a fully-functioning OCT interferometer, allowing the imaging needle to be connected to a range of OCT scanners.


Optical Design

3D model, 23G imaging needle.jpg

Our imaging needles use an all-fibre optical design, fusing together small lengths of no-core and GRIN fiber to shape the light beam. Each piece of fiber is only a few hundred microns in length.

Scolaro et al., “High-sensitivity anastigmatic imaging needle for optical coherence tomography,” Optics Letters, 37(24):5247-5249, 2012

What you get in the box

Each imaging needle contains focusing optics optimised for 1300nm OCT imaging, and connects to the Miniprobes' handpiece. 

System schematic integrating the Miniprobes' imaging needle and handpiece with your optical system.

System schematic integrating the Miniprobes' imaging needle and handpiece with your optical system.

The Miniprobes' handpiece is a fully-encapsulated interferometer, containing a 90:10 coupler splitting the light beam into sample and reference paths, and optics terminating the reference path. Our handpiece has an SMF-28 optical fiber that you can connect to your optical system using a standard FC/APC fiber connector.

You will need to supply an optical system containing a light source (1300nm swept source or broadband light source), a detector and DAQ card to digitise the optical signal, and computer to process this into an OCT A-scan. This is illustrated in the system schematic.

Applications

New smart needle to make brain surgery safer.

Applications of our needles are being explored in brain, lung and eye surgery. Our imaging needles have been used for in vivo human trials. Integrated into a brain biopsy needle, they were shown to be able to detect blood vessels, making brain surgery safer.