Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a non-destructive tomographic imaging platform used to image soil, plant tissues, and a wide variety of other materials. The system leverages an incoherent infrared laser light source to produce high-quality images with spatial resolution on the order of single to tens of microns. Further, the system can provide three-dimensional surface or through depth analysis and can be focused to image through a transmissive plate or other boundary. By virtue of being non-destructive, the system can image live samples and timeseries imaging is feasible for tracking tissue growth, system changes, or to target other types of sampling over minutes to days of analysis.
- Supporting the Rhizosphere Function Integrated Research Platform, OCT can provide real-time imaging and growth rate analysis for roots and stems.
- Supporting the Biogeochemical Transformations Integrated Research Platform, OCT can help image the physical interactions between roots, biofilms, and soil where accelerated rates of biogeochemical processes may occur.
Tips for success
- While samples for OCT require virtually no preparation, care must be taken to harvest and transport samples while maintaining their spatial structure.
- Plants can be grown at EMSL, where the OCT system is made available to image the samples as they are growing.