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Opt Express. 2011 Jan 17;19(2):1582-93. doi: 10.1364/OE.19.001582.

Ex-vivo characterization of human colon cancer by Mueller polarimetric imaging.

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LPICM, Ecole polytechnique, CNRS, Palaiseau, France.


Cancerous and healthy human colon samples have been analyzed ex-vivo using a multispectral imaging Mueller polarimeter operated in the visible (from 500 to 700 nm) in a backscattering configuration with diffuse light illumination. Three samples of Liberk├╝hn colon adenocarcinomas have been studied: common, mucinous and treated by radiochemotherapy. For each sample, several specific zones have been chosen, based on their visual staging and polarimetric responses, which have been correlated to the histology of the corresponding cuts. The most relevant polarimetric images are those quantifying the depolarization for incident linearly polarized light. The measured depolarization depends on several factors, namely the presence or absence of tumor, its exophytic (budding) or endophytic (penetrating) nature, its thickness (its degree of ulceration) and its level of penetration in deeper layers (submucosa, muscularis externa and serosa). The cellular density, the concentration of stroma, the presence or absence of mucus and the light penetration depth, which increases with wavelength, are also relevant parameters. Our data indicate that the tissues with the lowest and highest depolarizing powers are respectively mucus-free tumoral tissue with high cellular density and healthy serosa, while healthy submucosa, muscularis externa as well as mucinous tumor probably feature intermediate values. Moreover, the specimen coming from a patient treated successfully with radiochemotherapy exhibited a uniform polarimetric response typical of healthy tissue even in the initially pathological zone. These results demonstrate that multi-spectral Mueller imaging can provide useful contrasts to quickly stage human colon cancer ex-vivo and to distinguish between different histological variants of tumor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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