Polarization effects in optical coherence tomography of various biological tissues

JF de Boer, S. M. Srinivas, B.H. Park, TH Pham, ZP Chen, TE Milner, JS Nelson

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT) was used to obtain spatially resolved ex vivo images of polarization changes in skeletal muscle, bone, skin and brain. Through coherent detection of two orthogonal polarization states of the signal formed by interference of light reflected from the biological sample and a mirror in the reference arm of a Michelson interferometer, the depth resolved change in polarization was measured. Inasmuch as any fibrous structure will influence the polarization of light, PS-OCT is a potentially powerful technique investigating tissue structural properties. In addition, the effects of single polarization state detection on OCT image formation is demonstrated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1200-1204
JournalIEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • biological tissues
  • biomedical imaging
  • birefringence
  • optical tomography
  • polarization

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