University of Oulu

Mariia Borovkova, Alexander Bykov, Alexey Popov, and Igor Meglinski "Role of scattering and birefringence in phase retardation revealed by locus of Stokes vector on Poincaré sphere," Journal of Biomedical Optics 25(5), 057001 (20 May 2020).

Role of scattering and birefringence in phase retardation revealed by locus of Stokes vector on Poincaré sphere

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Author: Borovkova, Mariia1; Bykov, Alexander1; Popov, Alexey2;
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Optoelectronics and Measurement Techniques Research Unit, Oulu, Finland
2VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Oulu, Finland
3National Research Tomsk State University, Interdisciplinary Laboratory of Biophotonics, Tomsk, Russia
4National Research Nuclear University “MEPhI”, Institute of Engineering Physics for Biomedicine (PhysBio), Moscow, Russia
5Aston University, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Birmingham, United Kingdom
6Aston University, School of Life and Health Sciences, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 4.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: SPIE, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-05-26


Significance: Biological tissues are typically characterized by high anisotropic scattering and may also exhibit linear form birefringence. Both scattering and birefringence bias the phase shift between transverse electric field components of polarized light. These phase alterations are associated with particular structural malformations in the tissue. In fact, the majority of polarization-based techniques are unable to distinguish the nature of the phase shift induced by birefringence or scattering of light.

Aim: We explore the distinct contributions of scattering and birefringence in the phase retardation of circularly polarized light propagated in turbid tissue-like scattering medium.

Approach: The circularly polarized light in frame of Stokes polarimetry approach is used for the screening of biotissue phantoms and chicken skin samples. The change of optical properties in chicken skin is accomplished by optical clearing, which reduces scattering, and mechanical stretch, which induces birefringence. The change of optical properties of skin tissue is confirmed by spectrophotometric measurements and second-harmonic generation imaging.

Results: The contributions of scattering and birefringence in the phase retardation of circularly polarized light propagated in biological tissues are distinguished by the locus of the Stokes vector mapped on the Poincaré sphere. The phase retardation of circularly polarized light due to scattering alterations is assessed. The value of birefringence in chicken skin is estimated as 0.3  ×  10− 3, which agrees with alternative studies. The change of birefringence of skin tissue due to mechanical stretch in the order of 10− 6 is detected.

Conclusions: While the polarimetric parameters on their own do not allow distinguishing the contributions of scattering and birefringence, the resultant Stokes vector trajectory on the Poincaré sphere reveals the role of scattering and birefringence in the total phase retardation. The described approach, applied independently or in combination with Mueller polarimetry, can be beneficial for the advanced characterization of various types of malformations within biological tissues.

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Series: Journal of biomedical optics
ISSN: 1083-3668
ISSN-E: 1560-2281
ISSN-L: 1083-3668
Volume: 25
Issue: 5
Article number: 057001
DOI: 10.1117/1.JBO.25.5.057001
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 114 Physical sciences
Funding: This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 713606, the ATTRACT project funded by the EC under Grant Agreement 777222, Academy of Finland (Grant Nos: 314369 and 325097), INFOTECH strategic funding, MEPhI Academic Excellence Project (Contract No. 02.a03.21.0005), and National Research Tomsk State University Academic D.I. Mendeleev Fund Program. The authors are grateful to Prof. Valery Tuchin and Prof. Alex Vitkin for critical comments and useful discussions at the stage of the paper preparation.
EU Grant Number: (713606) I4FUTURE - Novel Imaging and Characterisation Methods in Bio, Medical, and Environmental Research and Technology Innovations
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 314369
Detailed Information: 314369 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
325097 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © The Authors. Published by SPIE under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. Distribution or reproduction of this work in whole or in part requires full attribution of the original publication, including its DOI.