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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A

| OPTICS, IMAGE SCIENCE, AND VISION

  • Vol. 22, Iss. 3 — Mar. 1, 2005
  • pp: 552–560

High-sensitivity determination of birefringence in turbid media with enhanced polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography

Nate J. Kemp, Jesung Park, Haitham N. Zaatari, H. Grady Rylander, and Thomas E. Milner  »View Author Affiliations


JOSA A, Vol. 22, Issue 3, pp. 552-560 (2005)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/JOSAA.22.000552


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Abstract

Polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography provides high-resolution cross-sectional characterization of birefringence in turbid media. Weakly birefringent biological tissues such as the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) require advanced speckle noise reduction for high-sensitivity measurement of form birefringence. We present a novel method for high-sensitivity birefringence quantification by using enhanced polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography (EPS-OCT) and introduce the polarimetric signal-to-noise ratio, a mathematical tool for analyzing speckle noise in polarimetry. Multiple incident polarization states and nonlinear fitting of normalized Stokes vectors allow determination of retardation with ±1° uncertainty with invariance to unknown unitary polarization transformations. Results from a weakly birefringent turbid film and in vivo primate RNFL are presented. In addition, we discuss the potential of EPS-OCT for noninvasive quantification of intracellular filamentous nanostructures, such as neurotubules in the RNFL that are lost during the progression of glaucoma.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(030.6140) Coherence and statistical optics : Speckle
(170.4470) Medical optics and biotechnology : Ophthalmology
(170.4500) Medical optics and biotechnology : Optical coherence tomography
(260.1440) Physical optics : Birefringence
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization

History
Original Manuscript: July 6, 2004
Revised Manuscript: September 27, 2004
Manuscript Accepted: October 1, 2004
Published: March 1, 2005

Citation
Nate J. Kemp, Jesung Park, Haitham N. Zaatari, H. Grady Rylander, and Thomas E. Milner, "High-sensitivity determination of birefringence in turbid media with enhanced polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 22, 552-560 (2005)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/josaa/abstract.cfm?URI=josaa-22-3-552

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