Polarized light is commonly used to detect optical anisotropies, such as birefringence, in tissues. This optical anisotropy is often attributed to underlying structural anisotropy in tissue, which may originate from regularly aligned collagen fibers. In these cases, the optical anisotropy, such as birefringence, is interpreted as a relative measure of the structural anisotropy of the collagen fibers. However, the relative amplitude of optical anisotropy depends on factors other than fiber orientation, and few models allow quantitative interpretation of absolute measures of true fiber orientation distribution from the optical signal. Our model uses the Mie solution to scattering of linearly polarized light from infinite cylindrical scatterers. The model is expanded to include populations of scatterers with physiologically relevant size and orientation distributions. We investigated the influences of fiber diameter, orientation distribution, and wavelength on the back-scattering signal with our computational model, and used these results to extract structural information from experimental fiber phantoms and bovine tendon. Our results demonstrated that by fitting our model to the experimental data using limited assumptions, we could extract fiber orientation distributions and diameters that were comparable to those found in scanning electron microscope images of the same fiber sample. We found a higher alignment of fibers in the bovine tendon sample, and the extracted fiber diameter was within the expected physiological range. Our model showed that the amplitude of optical anisotropy can vary widely due to factors other than the orientation distribution of fiber structures, including index of refraction, and therefore should not be taken as a sole indicator of structural anisotropy. This work highlights that the accuracy of model assumptions plays a crucial role in extracting quantitative structural information from optical anisotropy.
Our group previously introduced Polarized Spatial Frequency Domain Imaging (PSFDI), a wide-field, reflectance imaging technique which we used to empirically map fiber direction in porcine pulmonary heart valve leaflets (PHVL) without optical clearing or physical sectioning of the sample. Presented is an extended analysis of our PSFDI results using an inverse Mueller matrix model of polarized light scattering that allows additional maps of fiber orientation distribution, along with instrumentation permitting increased imaging speed for dynamic PHVL fiber measurements.
We imaged electrospun fiber phantoms with PSFDI, and then compared these measurements to SEM data collected for the same phantoms. PHVL was then imaged and compared to results of the same leaflets optically cleared and imaged with small angle light scattering (SALS). The static PHVL images showed distinct regional variance of fiber orientation distribution, matching our SALS results. We used our improved imaging speed to observe bovine tendon subjected to dynamic loading using a biaxial stretching device. Our dynamic imaging experiment showed trackable changes in the fiber microstructure of biological tissue under loading. Our new PSFDI analysis model and instrumentation allows characterization of fiber structure within heart valve tissues (as validated with SALS measurements), along with imaging of dynamic fiber remodeling. The experimental data will be used as inputs to our constitutive models of PHVL tissue to fully characterize these tissues' elastic behavior, and has immediate application in determining the mechanisms of structural and functional failure in PHVLs used as bio-prosthetic implants.
Biocompatible Optical Needle Array (BONA) is showing to be a powerful tool complementing the novel antibacterial blue light therapy. BONA is able to deliver light to deeper skin tissue layers successfully as shown in experiments. In this study, we will discuss BONA’s design, mechanical and optical properties, production method, plus propose improvements to optimize it all. A special skin phantom with photosensitizer was developed in order to investigate how light is delivered inside the tissue. The phantom shows the light scattering pattern through photobleach, allowing us to determine length, thickness and spacing between needles. Other quantitative optical properties as penetration depth were determined using a different phantom (using PDMS). Mechanical properties as needle resistance were determined using one axis of a custom biaxial tensile strain device. The results led us to conclude that besides the great results, there is still room for improvements regarding tip sharpness and manufacturing time and cost, which would be solved with the enhanced fabrication method proposed.
The sampling depth of light for diffuse reflectance spectroscopy is analyzed both experimentally and computationally. A Monte Carlo (MC) model was used to investigate the effect of optical properties and probe geometry on sampling depth. MC model estimates of sampling depth show an excellent agreement with experimental measurements over a wide range of optical properties and probe geometries. The MC data are used to define a mathematical expression for sampling depth that is expressed in terms of optical properties and probe geometry parameters.