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Cross-polarized backscatter in optical coherence tomography of biological tissue

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Abstract

We have observed that cross-polarized backscatter measured by optical coherence tomography of human skin in vivo is surprisingly strong. We identify and give evidence of its main origins: single scattering from nonspherical particles and multiple scattering by particles with sizes much larger than a wavelength. Our findings show that depolarized light scattered by dense large-diameter particles maintains a high degree of temporal coherence and that differential-polarization imaging improves contrast between particles of different sizes.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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