Multiwavelength Stokes polarimetry imaging is used for screening fixed bulk mouse brain tissue blocks at different stages of Alzheimer’s disease, providing statistically significant difference sufficient for quantitative analysis of brain tissue.
Alzheimer’s disease, being a major societal burden, demands improvement of current techniques for its treatment and diagnostics. Currently only autopsy histology is able to provide the definite diagnosis for Alzheimer’s disease. However, the procedure is rather time consuming and costly. In the current study, we utilized Stokes and Mueller polarimetry techniques to screen for amyloid-β (Aβ) deposits in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded mouse brain tissue at different stages of Alzheimer’s disease. The study has shown that the presence of Aβ plaques influences the properties of scattered polarized light. The Poincaré sphere was used as a graphical tool for the visualization of the alterations of the Stokes vector, obtained with Stokes polarimetry, whereas statistical moments were used for the analysis of depolarization distributions that were acquired with Mueller polarimetry. We demonstrate the sensitivity of the last component of the Stokes vector, the degree of polarization and high-order statistical moments of depolarization to the structural alterations in brain tissue, which correspond to the disease progression. The described approach has a potential to improve the existing pathology screening methods and facilitates Aβ detection in AD research.