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Proceedings Paper

Polarized light propagation in turbid media
Author(s): Vanitha Sankaran M.D.; Duncan J. Maitland; Joseph T. Walsh Jr.
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Paper Abstract

Polarimetry, which is a comparison of the polarization state of light before and after it has interacted with a material, can be used to discriminate unscattered and weakly scattered photons from multiply scattered photons. Weakly scattered photons tend to retain their incident polarization state whereas highly scattered photons become depolarized; thus, polarization-based discrimination techniques can be used to image through tissue with decreased noise and increased contrast. Many previous studies investigating polarization- based discrimination have been conducted on tissue phantoms, with the ultimate goal being noninvasive imaging of breast tumors. We demonstrate here that linearly and circularly polarized light propagate differently in common tissue phantoms than in two independent techniques on tissue phantoms consisting of polystyrene and Intralipid microsphere suspensions, and on porcine adipose tissue and porcine myocardium. We show that contrary to expectations made from studies in the phantoms, linearly polarized light survives through more scattering events than circularly polarized light in both adipose tissue, which contains quasi-spherical scatterers, ad myocardium, which contains quasi-spherical and cylindrical scatterers. Differences between spherical and biological scatterers are discussed, along with the impact of tissue birefringence on degree of polarization measurements.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 April 1999
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3598, Coherence Domain Optical Methods in Biomedical Science and Clinical Applications III, (30 April 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.347485
Show Author Affiliations
Vanitha Sankaran M.D., Northwestern Univ. (United States)
Duncan J. Maitland, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Joseph T. Walsh Jr., Northwestern Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3598:
Coherence Domain Optical Methods in Biomedical Science and Clinical Applications III
Valery V. Tuchin; Joseph A. Izatt, Editor(s)

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