The team at Miniprobes design and build a range of exquisitely small imaging probes for optical coherence tomography (OCT). We have two product lines. Our 3D scanning probes are as small as a pen and can scan a 5mm field of view. Configured for common-path OCT, they avoid the need for an interferometer by generating their own internal reference reflection.

Our imaging needles are encased in a stainless steel needle, allowing you to insert the probe deep below the surface of whatever you want to image. Our customised needle 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 probes 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

All of our products have focusing optics that are optimised for 1300nm OCT imaging.

Our 3D scanning probes contain control electronics and a non-rechargeable battery, giving 8 hours of scan-time. We scan by spiralling the lensed fiber to fully cover a circular field-of-view of 5mm. The 3D scanning probe has an SMF-28 optical fiber to connect to your 1300nm OCT system with a standard FC/APC fiber connector.

Our imaging needles attach to a reusable handpiece. 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 will connect to your OCT system using a standard FC/APC fiber connector.

You will need to supply an OCT 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 schematics below.

 System schematic for integrating the 3D scanning probe with your optical system.

System schematic for integrating the 3D scanning probe with your optical system.

 System schematic for integrating an imaging needle and handpiece with your optical system.

System schematic for integrating an imaging needle and handpiece with your optical system.

Applications

New smart needle to make brain surgery safer.

Applications of our needles are being explored in brain and lung 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.