Swept Source OCT – Everything You Need To Know About

The 21st century is an era of technological revolution. Our world has experienced so many technological advancements and other revolutions in almost every sector such as; manufacturing, market customer service, education, etc. The same is also applicable to the optoelectronic and medical fields

Swept-source OCT, also known as Swept Source Optical Coherence Tomography, is a cutting-edge technology for the medical sector. These devices are used for the screening process, essentially it is an imaging technology. The previous versions include TD-OCT (Time-Domain Optical Coherence Tomography), and SD-OCT ( Spectral-Domain OCT) are also laser-incorporated technology. 

So here we will break down the history and principles of SS-OCT and inform you of everything that you need to know about Swept Source OCT.

Swept Source OCT – Everything You Need To Know About

The History Of Swept Source OCT

Swept Source OCT also referred to as SS-OCT is essentially an ophthalmic imaging technology (ophthalmology is the study of human eye anatomy and its diseases). Thus, this technology is leveraged to identify any diseases or abnormalities concerning the human eye. The technology uses a non-invasive method for a cross-section image as well as internal anatomy. 

Low coherence interferometry is employed to capture the optical reflections and develop a 2D image of the internal tissue microstructure. The anatomy of the eye is so complex; hence, to understand it we need a proper tool that can replicate the internal organs in 2 dimension format. Thus, it is quite blatant that SS-OCT has impacted the medical sector positively. 

Swept Source OCT was introduced in 2012, ever since then, the technology has been favored by the medical field due to which the popularity of this technology grew exponentially. The ophthalmology departments quickly realized the importance of the technology and leveraged it to gain accurate results. Other forms of tomography are also being used, however, in a comparative study SS-OCT prevails over other methods because of its remarkable benefits.

Principle Of Swept Source OCT

Low coherence interferometry, or white light interferometry, is the fundamental base of OCT. This technology produces a broad bandwidth in an optical setup that helps in obtaining the optical reflections required for imaging the structures. 

A narrow-band light source with a wavelength equivalent to 1000 nm (1 nanometer = 0.0000000001 m) is used in the swept-source OCT. A short cavity is present which is responsible for emitting multiple light frequencies that can be tuned over a wide bandwidth. 

Swept Source OCT differs from other imaging technology in terms of the particles used. To produce images, MRI and ultrasound use sound waves whereas SS-OCT uses light waves. This is the prime difference between these imaging technologies.

What Are The Advantages of SS-OCT

It is rather blatant that SS-OCT is an important tool for the ophthalmology medical field or department. It is one of the most important forms of imaging technology. Let us take a look at some of the benefits of Swept Source OCT:

  1. SS-OCT allows imaging of complex internal structures that are minute in size. Several anatomical structures such as the vitreous humor, choroid, and retinal structures are difficult to image. A technology that can generate accurate images of such complex structures is of prime importance, such as SS-OCT.
  2. The gentle light source of the swept source laser is another significant advantage of this technology. It allows the patient to sit still without any discomfort during imaging.
  3. The technology is rather quick. An accurate and precise image is generated by the technology in a relatively short amount of time, resulting in images with a wider scanning range.
  4. The greater the number of pixels the greater the resolution. Since the technology uses narrow or short wavelengths, it can produce high-resolution images.
  5. Due to SS-OCT’s insensitivity roll-off, it allows simultaneous imaging of multiple structures. There is no requirement to readjust. The ability to generate images of multiple structures in one go is appreciated by the patients as well.


Swept Source OCT is a modern technology that prevails over its ancestors. The technology is capable enough to generate high-resolution images of complex internal structures of the human eye. Technology has positively impacted the medical sector, especially the ophthalmology department. The benefits of SS-OCT mentioned in this blog prove this point.

Inphenix is a US-based company that designs and manufactures lasers and light sources widely used in various industries. Inphenix’s Swept Source OCT has many advantages, including deep penetration, long coherence length, and high resolution. The company offers Swept Sources in three different variants- 1060nm, 1310nm, and 1550nm windows– ideal for OEM integration.