Merging of ultrahigh-resolution optical coherence tomography (UHR OCT) and adaptive optics (AO), resulting in high axial () and improved transverse resolution () is demonstrated for the first time to our knowledge in in vivo retinal imaging. A compact () closed-loop AO system, based on a real-time Hartmann–Shack wave-front sensor operating at 30 Hz and a 37-actuator membrane deformable mirror, is interfaced to an UHR OCT system, based on a commercial OCT instrument, employing a compact Ti:sapphire laser with 130-nm bandwidth. Closed-loop correction of both ocular and system aberrations results in a residual uncorrected wave-front rms of for a 3.68-mm pupil diameter. When this level of correction is achieved, OCT images are obtained under a static mirror configuration. By use of AO, an improvement of the transverse resolution of two to three times, compared with UHR OCT systems used so far, is obtained. A significant signal-to-noise ratio improvement of up to 9 dB in corrected compared with uncorrected OCT tomograms is also achieved.
© 2004 Optical Society of America