Polarisation-sensitive optical coherence tomography – a window into the sub-wavelength, volumetric world of fibrillar structures in biology

David Sampson (U Surrey)

Mar 24. 2021, 14:45 — 15:30

Polarisation-sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT) dates back to the early 1990s, right at the beginning of the field of optical coherence tomography. Alteration of the polarisation state of light is an appealing source of contrast, already used in polarised light microscopy, a non-tomographic technique, for many decades – with applications in geology, materials characterisation and biology, and continuing to evolve today. The tomographic version available with PS-OCT probes the presence and arrangement of sub-wavelength sized fibrous structures, such as collagen or muscle cells, and the shape of scatterers, such as cells. It is complicated by the cumulative influence of the propagation path on the contrast, and the complex physics of polarised light-soft tissue interactions. Translational biophotonics applications have been pursued for some time in glaucoma, tumour and burns assessment, and wound monitoring, but have been challenged by the lack of one-to-one correspondence between images and structures caused by this influence. In this talk, I will describe what has changed recently to overcome the challenges, focussing on our recent work, and why, with continuing advances in tomographic reconstruction, we expect polarisation-based contrast to demonstrate great advances over the coming years.

Further Information
Erwin Schrödinger Institute - virtual
Associated Event:
Tomographic Reconstructions and their Startling Applications (Online Workshop)
Wolfgang Drexler (Med U Vienna)
Peter Elbau (U Vienna)
Ronny Ramlau (RICAM, Linz)
Monika Ritsch-Marte (Med Uni Innsbruck)
Otmar Scherzer (U Vienna)
Gerhard Schütz (TU Vienna)