18 April 2005 Imaging of the polarizing properties of human retinal layers by polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography
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Abstract
We report on the development of a new polarization sensitive OCT (PS-OCT) system and its application to measure and image the polarizing properties of the human retina in vivo. Contrary to conventional OCT, the system is not based on A-scans but on transverse scanning of the measurement beam across the retina. A highly precise carrier frequency is generated by acousto-optic modulators. A two-channel polarization sensitive detection unit is used to obtain amplitude and phase of the interference signals in two orthogonal channels. This allows to measure and image three parameters simultaneously: reflectivity, retardation, and birefringent axis orientation. The instrument can be operated in different ways: 2D imaging along x-z or y-z planes (B-scans), along the x-y plane (C-scan), and 3D imaging are possible. In vivo PS-OCT images were recorded in the fovea and nerve head region of healthy volunteers. In the region of the fovea, the birefringence of Henle's fiber layer could be measured; furthermore, a depolarizing layer at the RPE-choriocapillaris complex was discovered. In the region of the nerve head, birefringence and orientation of the fibers of the RNFL could be imaged.
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Michael Pircher, Erich Goetzinger, Rainer A Leitgeb, Harald Sattmann, Oliver Findl, Christoph K Hitzenberger, "Imaging of the polarizing properties of human retinal layers by polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography", Proc. SPIE 5688, Ophthalmic Technologies XV, (18 April 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.592388; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.592388
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