The mechanism of most medical endoscopes is based on the interaction between light and biological tissue, inclusive of absorption, elastic scattering and fluorescence. In essence, the metrics of those interactions are obtained from the fundamental properties of light as an electro-magnetic waves, namely, the radiation intensity and wavelength. As another fundamental property of light, polarisation can not only reveal tissue scattering and absorption information from a different perspective, but is also able to provide a fresh insight into directional tissue birefringence properties induced by birefringent compositions and anisotropic fibrous structures, such as collagen, elastin, muscle fibre, etc at the same time. Here we demonstrate a low cost high definition Muller polarimetric endoscope with minimal alteration of a rigid endoscope. By imaging birefringent tissue mimicking phantoms and a porcine bladder, we show that this novel endoscopic imaging modality is able to provide different information of interest from unpolarised endoscopic imaging, including linear depolarization, circular depolarization, birefringence, optic axis orientation and dichroism. This endoscope can potentially be employed for better tissue visualisation and benefit endoscopic investigations and intra-operative guidance.
Ji Qi and Daniel Elson, "A high definition Mueller polarimetric endoscope for tissue characterisation (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9698, Advanced Biomedical and Clinical Diagnostic and Surgical Guidance Systems XIV, 96980W (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 16, 2016; Published: 27 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2212891.4828055424001.
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