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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Quantification methods and applications of polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography Zhou, Xin


Optical coherence tomography (OCT) provides non-invasive, three-dimensional imaging of biological tissues using back-scattered light. Since the invention of OCT technique, OCT has been shown as a powerful tool especially in the field of ophthalmology. However, traditional OCT is still limited to the analysis of the apparent form on the image. With its applications nowadays extending to other types of tissues, e.g. cartilage, teeth, skin, bone, etc. merely morphological information is not sufficient for the demanding and complex research context. Therefore, development of functional OCT and exploring its utilization in these different application areas is important. Since the necessity of functional extension of OCT technique got more attention, polarization-sensitive OCT (PS-OCT) has been developed for birefringence and partial-depolarization measurements, and has been widely utilized for different types of tissue imaging for clinical and pathological research purposes. With Jones-matrix-based detection, PS-OCT is capable of measuring the polarization properties of biological tissue with multiple contrast images representing different polarization properties of bio-tissues. In this dissertation, a PS-OCT system and its data analysis approaches are developed for applications on different types of biological tissues. An algorithm based on the slope of phase retardation image is developed to study the depth-dependent structural zones in bio-tissue. The algorithm is applied on articular cartilage to differentiate the structural zones, which is further validated by histology and multiphoton microscope images. This approach is also applied to a laryngeal tumor model and quantifies the birefringence in different layers and provides a detailed comparison among the different stages of laryngeal tumor. When applying the slope-based approach on human cartilage samples with osteoarthritis, more specific algorithms are developed to fit the need in the dynamic complexity of the disease progression. Furthermore, a deep learning study is conducted as a trial on human cartilage samples. As another application, PS-OCT is also used to explore skin properties, especially its micro-roughness. The impact of micro-roughness and surface irregularity of skin is examined by the degree of polarization uniformity. Through this study, PS-OCT is shown to have great potential in several different bio-medical applications.

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