We demonstrate significant differences in the propagation of polarized light through biological tissue compared with two common tissue phantoms. Depolarization of linearly and circularly polarized light was measured versus propagation distance by use of two independent measurement techniques. The measurements were performed on adipose and myocardial tissues and on tissue phantoms that consisted of polystyrene microsphere suspensions and Intralipid. The results indicate that, in contrast with results obtained in tissue phantoms, linearly polarized light survives through longer propagation distances than circularly polarized light in biological tissue.
© 1999 Optical Society of America
(170.1650) Medical optics and biotechnology : Coherence imaging
(170.3660) Medical optics and biotechnology : Light propagation in tissues
(170.7050) Medical optics and biotechnology : Turbid media
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization
(290.5850) Scattering : Scattering, particles
Vanitha Sankaran, Matthew J. Everett, Duncan J. Maitland, and Joseph T. Walsh, Jr., "Comparison of polarized-light propagation in biological tissue and phantoms," Opt. Lett. 24, 1044-1046 (1999)