Imaging of 3D tissue-engineered models of oral cancer using 890 and 1300 nm optical coherence tomography

J. Boadi, J. Fernandes, S. Mittar, V. Hearnden, Z. Lu, S. Macneil, M. H. Thornhill, C. Murdoch, K. D. Hunter, S. J. Matcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Optical coherence tomography (OCT) generates its primary form of contrast from elastic backscatter. It is now the gold standard technique for retinal screening and is emerging rapidly in cardiovascular research however it remains a research goal to establish it to the same degree in epithelial cancer detection and diagnosis. In this report we compare two different OCT systems: an 890 nm spectrometer-based OCT system with 2.5 µm axial resolution and a 1300 nm swept-source OCT system with 7.5 µm axial resolution to determine the effect of these different OCT parameters on the endogenous backscatter contrast of dysplastic/malignant oral mucosa models relative to normal mucosa models. Tissueengineered oral mucosa models constructed with a dysplastic cell line (DOK), a malignant cell line (Cal27) and normal cell were imaged with both of these OCT platforms and comparisons made with regard to apparent epithelial thickness and the visibility of the epithelium relative to the underlying stroma. For the Cal27’s, hematoxylin and eosin staining confirmed the formation of a keratinized layer superficial to a thickened layer of viable cells on top of the stroma. The keratinized layer presented as a hyperreflective thickened layer superficial to a darker region on both OCT platforms. The keratinized layer caused a steep fall in signal at 890 nm, making it difficult to visualise underlying structures, whereas 1300 nm OCT clearly visualized both the epithelial cells and the stroma lying beneath. For the DOK cells, hematoxylin and eosin staining confirmed the formation of an epithelial layer frequently presenting an abnormal morphology especially at the epidermal/stromal junction, with features such as infiltrating, bulbous rete pegs. These were more clearly visualized under 890 nm OCT. These observations show that 890 nm OCT retains some of its known advantages of higher contrast between anatomical tissue layers when used to observe dysplastic and malignant 3D oral mucosa constructs. However 1300 nm OCT is confirmed to possess a greater ability to image the full thickness of the model epithelia and in particular it is more suited to imaging through the keratinized layer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-67
Number of pages8
JournalSovremennye Tehnologii v Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


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