Biomedical optical applications of liquid crystal devices Academic Article uri icon


  • Liquid crystals exhibit large electro-optic effects which make them useful for a variety of applications as fast, compact, and tunable spectral filters, phase modulators, polarization controllers, and optical shutters. They were largely developed for liquid crystal displays and in the last decade for optical telecommunications, however their application in the field of optical imaging just started to emerge. These devices can be miniaturized thus have a great potential useful in miniature optical imaging systems for biomedical applications. Using a collection of tunable phase retarders one can perform: 1. Stokes parameters imaging for skin and eye polarimetric imaging; 2. Tunable filtering to be used for hyperspectral imaging, fluorescence microscopy, and frequency domain optical coherence tomography; 3. Adaptive optical imaging and eye aberrations correction; 4. Phase shift interferometric imaging; 5. Variable frequency structured illumination microscopy. Basic optics of liquid crystals devices is reviewed and some novel designs are presented in more detail when combined to imaging systems for a number of applications in biomedical imaging and sensing.

publication date

  • January 1, 2007