At the present time a definite assessment of cancer diagnosis can only be made after the microscopic analysis of histological cuts of tissue biopsies. Pathologists have to prepare and analyze a considerable amount of histological slides. The accuracy of diagnostics strongly relies on the experience of medical doctor performing histological analysis. Hence, the search for new efficient techniques helping pathologists to sort out the vast majority of histological slides and significantly reduce the time of diagnostic is of paramount importance.
The potential of Mueller polarimetry to become a new optical tool for digitally assisted automated polarized light histology was exploited within the framework of differential Mueller matrix formalism. The measurements of thin scattering anisotropic phantoms and histological slides of fixed unstained healthy and cancerous human tissue (basal cell carcinoma of skin, adenocarcinoma of colon) were performed in transmission configuration with custom-build Mueller polarimetric microscope. In-house Monte Carlo software for the solution of vector radiative transfer equation in scattering anisotropic media was used for the interpretation of experimental Mueller matrices.
The use of phenomenological theory of anisotropic scattering fluctuating medium based on differential Mueller matrix formalism (i. e. logarithmic decomposition of Mueller matrices) combined with an appropriate algorithm of polarimetric image segmentation and statistical analysis of experimental data provide new insight on set of optical markers (e.g. linear/circular retardance, linear/circular depolarization) which increase significantly the contrast between cancerous and healthy zones of tissue histological cuts and assure high sensitivity and specificity of polarimetric optical diagnostics of cancer.
Thomas SangHyuk Yoo, Tsanislava Genova-Hristova, Hee Ryung Lee, Ekaterina Borisova, Ivan Terziev, Enric Garcia-Caurel, Razvigor Ossikovski, and Tatiana Novikova, "Polarized light histology of tissue and differential Mueller matrix formalism (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10484, Advanced Biomedical and Clinical Diagnostic and Surgical Guidance Systems XVI, 1048412 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 30, 2018; Published: 5 April 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2291075.5751448992001.
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