Development of Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and OCT Angiography (OCTA) for Skin Applications

  • Yubo Ji

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The morphological changes of microstructural and microvascular in cutaneous disease are important for describing its physiological processes, like re-epithelialization, extracellular matrix formation, and angiogenesis. A biopsy is the golden standard method that provides the best objective assessment of these information for different dermatological conditions. However, the invasive technique causes further tissue destruction and increases the risk of infection. The study aims to develop Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and OCT angiography (OCTA) techniques that can provide high-resolution microstructural and microvascular images from normal and pathological skin conditions in a non-invasive and in-vivo way. The research thesis also demonstrates the potential ability of OCT and OCTA techniques as diagnostic, assessment, and monitoring tools for skin abnormalities according to the detailed quantitative description.

The newly developed hand-held swept-source OCT/OCTA system was employed to assess and monitor the skin abnormalities (e.g., excisional wound, acute burning wound, inflammations) in mouse and human skin. It provides an efficient and robust strategy to objectively assess the pathological structural and vascular feature with the assistance of deep learning techniques and quantitative analysis methods. To further improve the SS-OCTA technique in clinical applications, a novel three-dimensional (3D) stitching technique is proposed for a wider field of view (FOV) of angiograms. Moreover, a cGAN-based deep learning pipeline is suggested to generate high-quality OCTA images while minimizing the image acquisition and post-processing time.

The results have shown that the developed SS-OCTA system has clinical potential in the field of dermatology. It provides qualitative and quantitative information from multiple perspectives, which can aid in diagnosis and treatment of a dermatological disorders. The proposed technique is promising to be an alternative and complementary to traditional modalities in skin applications.
Date of Award2022
Original languageEnglish
SponsorsChina Scholarship Council
SupervisorChunhui Li (Supervisor) & Sally Ibbotson (Supervisor)


  • OCT
  • OCTA
  • skin

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