Measurement of a multi-layered tear film phantom using optical coherence tomography and statistical decision theory

Jinxin Huang, Qun Yuan, Buyun Zhang, Ke Xu, Patrice Tankam, Eric Clarkson, Matthew A. Kupinski, Holly B. Hindman, James V. Aquavella, Thomas J. Suleski, Jannick P. Rolland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


To extend our understanding of tear film dynamics for the management of dry eye disease, we propose a method to optically sense the tear film and estimate simultaneously the thicknesses of the lipid and aqueous layers. The proposed method, SDT-OCT, combines ultra-high axial resolution optical coherence tomography (OCT) and a robust estimator based on statistical decision theory (SDT) to achieve thickness measurements at the nanometer scale. Unlike conventional Fourier-domain OCT where peak detection of layers occurs in Fourier space, in SDT-OCT thickness is estimated using statistical decision theory directly on the raw spectra acquired with the OCT system. In this paper, we demonstrate in simulation that a customized OCT system tailored to ~1 μm axial point spread function (FWHM) in the corneal tissue, combined with the maximum-likelihood estimator, can estimate thicknesses of the nanometer-scale lipid and micron-scale aqueous layers of the tear film, simultaneously, with nanometer precision. This capability was validated in experiments using a physical phantom that consists of two layers of optical coatings that mimic the lipid and aqueous layers of the tear film.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA4374
Pages (from-to)4374-4386
Number of pages13
JournalBiomedical Optics Express
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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