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In Biomedical optics express

A resolution enhancement technique for optical coherence tomography (OCT), based on Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs), was developed and investigated. GANs have been previously used for resolution enhancement of photography and optical microscopy images. We have adapted and improved this technique for OCT image generation. Conditional GANs (cGANs) were trained on a novel set of ultrahigh resolution spectral domain OCT volumes, termed micro-OCT, as the high-resolution ground truth (∼1 μm isotropic resolution). The ground truth was paired with a low-resolution image obtained by synthetically degrading resolution 4x in one of (1-D) or both axial and lateral axes (2-D). Cross-sectional image (B-scan) volumes obtained from in vivo imaging of human labial (lip) tissue and mouse skin were used in separate feasibility experiments. Accuracy of resolution enhancement compared to ground truth was quantified with human perceptual accuracy tests performed by an OCT expert. The GAN loss in the optimization objective, noise injection in both the generator and discriminator models, and multi-scale discrimination were found to be important for achieving realistic speckle appearance in the generated OCT images. The utility of high-resolution speckle recovery was illustrated by an example of micro-OCT imaging of blood vessels in lip tissue. Qualitative examples applying the models to image data from outside of the training data distribution, namely human retina and mouse bladder, were also demonstrated, suggesting potential for cross-domain transferability. This preliminary study suggests that deep learning generative models trained on OCT images from high-performance prototype systems may have potential in enhancing lower resolution data from mainstream/commercial systems, thereby bringing cutting-edge technology to the masses at low cost.

Liang Kaicheng, Liu Xinyu, Chen Si, Xie Jun, Qing Lee Wei, Liu Linbo, Kuan Lee Hwee