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Opt Express. 2005 Jun 13;13(12):4507-18.

Depth-resolved optic axis orientation in multiple layered anisotropic tissues measured with enhanced polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography (EPS-OCT).


Enhanced polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography (EPS-OCT) is a noninvasive cross-sectional imaging technique capable of quantifying with high sensitivity the optically anisotropic properties of fibrous tissues. We present a method to measure the depth-resolved optic axis orientations in superficial and deep regions of multiple-layered form-birefringent tissue. Additionally, the bulk-optic EPS-OCT instrument provides anatomical fiber direction referenced absolutely to the laboratory frame, in contrast with fiber-based PS-OCT instruments which provide relative optic axis orientation measurements. Results presented on ex vivo murine tail tendon and porcine annulus fibrosis indicate that the method iscapable of characterizing depth-resolved fiber direction [ theta(z)], form-birefringence [Deltan(z)], and form-biattenuance [Delta chi(z)] for at least 10 successive lamellae and a depth of 0.52 mm into the intervertebral disc. Noninvasive assessment of optic axis orientation by EPS-OCT provides increased contrast in images of multiple-layered media and may improve the understanding of fibrous tissue ultrastructure and the diseases or traumas that affect fibrous tissues.

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