A non-destructive imaging technique is required for quantifying the anisotropic and heterogeneous structural arrangement of collagen in soft tissue membranes, such as bovine pericardium, which are used in the construction of bioprosthetic heart valves. Previously, our group developed a Stokes imaging polarimeter that measures the linear birefringence of samples in a transmission arrangement. With this device, linear retardance and optic axis orientation; can be estimated over a sample using simple vector algebra on Stokes vectors in the Poincaré sphere. However, this method is limited to a single path retardation of a half-wave, limiting the thickness of samples that can be imaged. The polarimeter has been extended to allow illumination of narrow bandwidth light of controllable wavelength through achromatic lenses and polarization optics. We can now take advantage of the wavelength dependence of relative retardation to remove ambiguities that arise when samples have a single path retardation of a half-wave to full-wave. This effectively doubles the imaging depth of this method. The method has been validated using films of cellulose of varied thickness, and applied to samples of bovine pericardium.
Alexander W. Dixon, Andrew J. Taberner, Martyn P. Nash, and Poul M. F. Nielsen, "Extended depth measurement for a Stokes sample imaging polarimeter," Proc. SPIE 10497, Imaging, Manipulation, and Analysis of Biomolecules, Cells, and Tissues XVI, 1049718 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 31, 2018; Published: 20 February 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2289311.
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