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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Michael Duncan
  • Vol. 13, Iss. 2 — Jan. 24, 2005
  • pp: 601–611

Investigation of depth selectivity of polarization gating for tissue characterization

Yang Liu, Young L. Kim, Xu Li, and Vadim Backman  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 13, Issue 2, pp. 601-611 (2005)

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Polarization gating has been widely used to selectively probe the structure of superficial biological tissue. However, the penetration depth selectivity of polarization gating has not been well understood. Using polarized light Monte Carlo simulations, we investigated how the optical properties of a scattering medium and light collection geometry affect the penetration depth of polarization gating. We show that, for a wide range of optical properties, polarization gating enables attaining a very shallow penetration depth, which is on the order of the mean free path length. Furthermore, we discuss the mechanisms responsible for this surprisingly short depth of penetration of polarization gating. We show that polarization-gated signal is generated primarily by photons emerging from the surface of the medium within a few mean free path lengths from the point of incidence.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(170.0170) Medical optics and biotechnology : Medical optics and biotechnology
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization
(290.1350) Scattering : Backscattering

ToC Category:
Research Papers

Original Manuscript: November 23, 2004
Revised Manuscript: January 14, 2005
Published: January 24, 2005

Yang Liu, Young Kim, Xu Li, and Vadim Backman, "Investigation of depth selectivity of polarization gating for tissue characterization," Opt. Express 13, 601-611 (2005)

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