DS0413 - Technologies pour la santé

Portable Optical Coherence Tomography with MEMS-VCSEL swept-sources for skin analysis – DOCT-VCSEL

Submission summary

Invasive biopsy is still today the reference diagnostic technique of a lot of skin pathologies (inflammation, tumors). Nevertheless, several situations of diagnosis should be kept as conservative as possible. Consequently, non-invasive imaging methods (ultrasounds, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging) have been developed for clinical use. In particular, existing optical coherence tomography (OCT) systems can perform non-invasive 3D optical biopsies of skin, improving patient’s quality of life. Nevertheless, these bulk systems are expensive (100 k€), essentially only affordable at the hospital and hence not sufficiently employed by physicians or dermatologists as an early diagnosis tool. MEMS-VCSEL technology offers a novel combination of high compactness, high speed, record coherence length, and flexibility for wavelength-tuned OCT systems. The use of optically pumped MEMS-VCSELs sources for SS-OCT at 1.3 µm for ophthalmology was first demonstrated in 2011 but since that time, the threshold towards the use of 850nm low-cost electrically-pumped tunable devices in a compact system is still not crossed. DOCT-VCSEL project aims at demonstrating a portable SS-OCT imaging system based on novel electrically-pumped MEMS-VCSEL light-source technology operating at 850 nm and taking advantage of polymers and semiconductors-based collective micro-nanotechnologies. These new compact and low cost sources can be arranged in arrays and will be completing an adapted architecture of array-type active Mirau interferometers developed within the European collaborative project VIAMOS (2012-2015). Thanks to this combination, we will develop a miniature (< 20 cm3), low cost SS-OCT imager (15 k€) providing cross-sectional 3-D tomograms with a depth greater than 0.5 mm, axial and transverse resolutions of 6 µm (corresponding to a laser tunability of 35 nm) and imaging field of 8x8 mm2, enabling doctors to perform painless and earlier detection of skin pathologies, including intra-operatively for the delimitation of gesture. For this purpose, DOCT-VCSEL brings together an experienced consortium made of 2 research institutes (LAAS/Toulouse and FEMTO-ST/Besançon) and 2 medical groups (Service de Dermatologie and Inserm CIC1431/CHU de Besançon). Partner’s expertise includes MEMS, MOEMS, VCSELs, OCT microscopy and dermatology. A unique team of transverse expertise is thus gathered in DOCT-VCSEL to design and demonstrate a miniature solution for in vivo 3D skin imaging to further address the early diagnosis of cutaneous pathologies that will potentially benefit millions of people worldwide. To validate the technical and functional performances of DOCT-VCSEL microsystem, translational trials will be performed at the UHB in the department of Dermatology by the end of the project. For an easy and rapid analysis, a specific imaging processing tool will be developed with the help of the company Pixience specialized in skin measurements tools.

Project coordination

Véronique Bardinal (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique/Laboratoire d'Analyse et d'Architecture des Systèmes)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


CNRS/LAAS Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique/Laboratoire d'Analyse et d'Architecture des Systèmes
CHRU Saint Etienne CHRU Saint Etienne

Help of the ANR 663,334 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: April 2016 - 48 Months

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