In vivo burn depth determination by high-speed fiber-based polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography

B.H. Park, CE Saxer, S. M. Srinivas, JS Nelson, JF de Boer

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We report the first application of high-speed fiber-based polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT) to image burned tissue in vivo. Thermal injury denatures collagen in skin and PS-OCT can measure the reduction in collagen birefringence using depth resolved changes in the polarization state of light propagated in, and reflected from, the tissue. Stokes vectors were calculated for each point in a scan and birefringence relative to incident polarization determined using four incident polarization states. Using a high-speed fiber-based PS-OCT system on rat skin burned for varying periods of time, a correlation between birefringence and actual burn depth determined by histological analysis was established. In conclusion, PS-OCT has potential use for noninvasive assessment of burn depth. (C) 2001 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)474-479
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2001


  • burn depth
  • polarization
  • fiber optics
  • coherent optical systems

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