Optical Coherence Tomography
OCT is an imaging tool for 2D and 3D reconstruction of small specimen, able to achieve sub-millimeter spatial resolution over some millimeters of depth, at rather fast acquisition rates in the order of hundreds of axial scans per second. Polarization sensitive OCT (PS-OCT) is a variant of standard OCT, which is able to analyze optical polarization properties of the specimen, thus enabling more detailed characterization and enhanced image contrast. Indeed, by exploiting the information carried by polarization of light, PS-OCT enables the analysis of features not detectable by standard OCT. OCT (either polarization sensitive or not) is successfully applied in many fields, the most promising of which is imaging of biological samples.
Recently, a growing interest focused on the application of OCT to zebrafish imaging. Several characteristics make zebrafish a model of election for developmental biology studies. The increasing use of zebrafish as an innovative model organism to analyze crucial steps of vertebrate embryonic development has greatly simplified the evaluation of several genetic or environmental factors influencing animal organogenesis. In this respect PEG is involved in a research activity aimed at implementing a PS-OCT for zebrafish imaging, focusing specifically on the development of novel approaches to the analysis of polarization properties.