Use of optical coherence tomography to monitor biological tissue freezing during cryosurgery

Bernard Choi, Thomas E. Milner, Jeehyun Kim, Jared N. Goodman, Gracie Vargas, Guillermo Aguilar, J. Stuart Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The use of optical coherence tomography (OCT) for imaging skin during cryosurgery is evaluated. OCT provides high spatial resolution (5-10μm) images of optical backscattering due to local variations in refractive index, such as the boundary between liquid and frozen water in tissue. Time resolved OCT images were acquired during freezing of water, Intralipid, and in vivo hamster skin. Subsurface morphological changes were evident only during freezing of Intralipid and skin. A simple thermal model was applied which predicted freezing times on the same order of magnitude as those observed in OCT images. OCT can be used as a feedback tool during cryosurgical procedures to monitor progression of the freezing front.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)282-286
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomedical optical imaging
  • Hamster window model
  • Skin flap model
  • Tissue phantoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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