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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 44, Iss. 11 — Apr. 10, 2005
  • pp: 2008–2012

Optimized birefringence changes during isolated nerve activation

Amanda J. Foust, Roxana M. Beiu, and David M. Rector  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 44, Issue 11, pp. 2008-2012 (2005)

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Single trial, birefringence signals associated with action potentials from isolated lobster nerves were optimized with high-intensity light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and glass polarizers. The narrow spectral output of the LEDs allowed us to select specific wavelengths, increasing the effectiveness of the polarizers and minimizing the stray light in the system. The LEDs produced intensity profiles equivalent to narrowband filtered 100-W halogen light, and birefringence signals were comparable or superior in size and clarity to halogen lamp recordings. The results support a direct correlation between signal size and polarizer extinction coefficient. Increasing the sensitivity of birefringence detection through the use of LED light sources could ameliorate noninvasive brain imaging techniques that employ fast optical consequences associated with action potential propagation.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(000.1430) General : Biology and medicine
(170.3660) Medical optics and biotechnology : Light propagation in tissues

Original Manuscript: July 9, 2004
Revised Manuscript: October 26, 2004
Manuscript Accepted: December 5, 2004
Published: April 10, 2005

Amanda J. Foust, Roxana M. Beiu, and David M. Rector, "Optimized birefringence changes during isolated nerve activation," Appl. Opt. 44, 2008-2012 (2005)

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