ABSTRACT We present a design, construction and characterization of different variations of GRIN and ball fiber lenses, which were recently proposed for ultra-small biomedical imaging probes. Those fiber lens modules are made of a single mode fiber and a GRIN or ball fiber lens with or without a fiber spacer between them. The lens diameters are smaller than 0.3 mm. We discuss design methods, fabrication techniques, and measuring performance of the fiber lenses. The experimental results are compared to their modeling results. The fabrication of a high quality beam director for both lens types is presented as well. These fiber integrated beam directors could be added on the tips of the fiber lenses for side-view probes. A needle probe made by these fiber lenses is demonstrated as a sample of the ultra-small probe for biomedical imaging application. In vivo human finger images acquired by a swept source optical coherence tomography using the fiber lenses with different beam profiles were shown, which indicates the important impact of fiber
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