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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 19, Iss. 2 — Jan. 17, 2011
  • pp: 1582–1593

Ex-vivo characterization of human colon cancer by Mueller polarimetric imaging

Angelo Pierangelo, Abdelali Benali, Maria-Rosaria Antonelli, Tatiana Novikova, Pierre Validire, Brice Gayet, and Antonello De Martino  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 19, Issue 2, pp. 1582-1593 (2011)

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Cancerous and healthy human colon samples have been analyzed ex-vivo using a multispectral imaging Mueller polarimeter operated in the visible (from 500 to 700 nm) in a backscattering configuration with diffuse light illumination. Three samples of Liberkühn colon adenocarcinomas have been studied: common, mucinous and treated by radiochemotherapy. For each sample, several specific zones have been chosen, based on their visual staging and polarimetric responses, which have been correlated to the histology of the corresponding cuts. The most relevant polarimetric images are those quantifying the depolarization for incident linearly polarized light. The measured depolarization depends on several factors, namely the presence or absence of tumor, its exophytic (budding) or endophytic (penetrating) nature, its thickness (its degree of ulceration) and its level of penetration in deeper layers (submucosa, muscularis externa and serosa). The cellular density, the concentration of stroma, the presence or absence of mucus and the light penetration depth, which increases with wavelength, are also relevant parameters. Our data indicate that the tissues with the lowest and highest depolarizing powers are respectively mucus-free tumoral tissue with high cellular density and healthy serosa, while healthy submucosa, muscularis externa as well as mucinous tumor probably feature intermediate values. Moreover, the specimen coming from a patient treated successfully with radiochemotherapy exhibited a uniform polarimetric response typical of healthy tissue even in the initially pathological zone. These results demonstrate that multi-spectral Mueller imaging can provide useful contrasts to quickly stage human colon cancer ex-vivo and to distinguish between different histological variants of tumor.

© 2011 OSA

OCIS Codes
(120.3890) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Medical optics instrumentation
(170.3880) Medical optics and biotechnology : Medical and biological imaging
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization
(290.1350) Scattering : Backscattering
(110.5405) Imaging systems : Polarimetric imaging

ToC Category:
Medical Optics and Biotechnology

Original Manuscript: November 2, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: November 30, 2010
Published: January 13, 2011

Virtual Issues
Vol. 6, Iss. 2 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Angelo Pierangelo, Abdelali Benali, Maria-Rosaria Antonelli, Tatiana Novikova, Pierre Validire, Brice Gayet, and Antonello De Martino, "Ex-vivo characterization of human colon cancer by Mueller polarimetric imaging," Opt. Express 19, 1582-1593 (2011)

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