Artefact reduction for cell migration visualization using spectral domain optical coherence tomography.
Hofer B., Povazay B., Hermann B., Rey SM., Kajić V., Tumlinson A., Powell K., Matz G., Drexler W.
Visualization of cell migration during chemotaxis using spectral domain optical coherence tomography (OCT) requires non-standard processing techniques. Stripe artefacts and camera noise floor present in OCT data prevent detailed computer-assisted reconstruction and quantification of cell locomotion. Furthermore, imaging artefacts lead to unreliable results in automated texture based cell analysis. Here we characterize three pronounced artefacts that become visible when imaging sample structures with high dynamic range, e.g. cultured cells: (i) time-varying fixed-pattern noise; (ii) stripe artefacts generated by background estimation using tomogram averaging; (iii) image modulations due to spectral shaping. We evaluate techniques to minimize the above mentioned artefacts using an 800 nm optical coherence microscope. Effect of artefact reduction is shown exemplarily on two cell cultures, i.e. Dictyostelium on nitrocellulose substrate, and retinal ganglion cells (RGC-5) cultured on a glass coverslip. Retinal imaging also profits from the proposed processing techniques.