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Journal of Biomedical Optics • Open Access

Tissue polarimetry: concepts, challenges, applications, and outlook
Author(s): Nirmalya Ghosh; Alex I. Vitkin

Paper Abstract

Polarimetry has a long and successful history in various forms of clear media. Driven by their biomedical potential, the use of the polarimetric approaches for biological tissue assessment has also recently received considerable attention. Specifically, polarization can be used as an effective tool to discriminate against multiply scattered light (acting as a gating mechanism) in order to enhance contrast and to improve tissue imaging resolution. Moreover, the intrinsic tissue polarimetry characteristics contain a wealth of morphological and functional information of potential biomedical importance. However, in a complex random medium-like tissue, numerous complexities due to multiple scattering and simultaneous occurrences of many scattering and polarization events present formidable challenges both in terms of accurate measurements and in terms of analysis of the tissue polarimetry signal. In order to realize the potential of the polarimetric approaches for tissue imaging and characterization/diagnosis, a number of researchers are thus pursuing innovative solutions to these challenges. In this review paper, we summarize these and other issues pertinent to the polarized light methodologies in tissues. Specifically, we discuss polarized light basics, Stokes-Muller formalism, methods of polarization measurements, polarized light modeling in turbid media, applications to tissue imaging, inverse analysis for polarimetric results quantification, applications to quantitative tissue assessment, etc.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 November 2011
PDF: 30 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 16(11) 110801 doi: 10.1117/1.3652896
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 16, Issue 11
Show Author Affiliations
Nirmalya Ghosh, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata (India)
Alex I. Vitkin, Ontario Cancer Institute (Canada)


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