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Two-dimensional birefringence imaging in biological tissue by polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography

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Abstract

Using a low-coherence Michelson interferometer, we measure two-dimensional images of optical birefringence in bovine tendon as a function of depth. Polarization-sensitive detection of the signal formed by interference of backscattered light from the sample and a mirror in the reference arm give the optical phase delay between light that is propagating along the fast and slow axes of the birefringent tendon. Images showing the change in birefringence in response to laser irradiation are presented. The technique permits rapid noncontact investigation of tissue structural properties through two-dimensional imaging of birefringence.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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