Differential optical spectropolarimetric imaging system assisted by liquid crystal devices for skin imaging Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Skin cancer diagnosis depends not only on histopathological examination but also on visual inspection before and after the excision of suspected lesion. Neoplasm is accompanied with changes in birefringence of collagen, pleomorphicity, and hyperchromatic state of epithelial nuclei. These phenomena can be measured by spectral and polarization changes of light backscattered by the examined tissue. A new differential spectropo- larimetric system is proposed using liquid crystal devices, one as a tunable filter and the other as a polarization rotator, both operating at wide spectral ranges from the visible to the near-infrared. Since collagen's fibrils texture orientation depends on its location in the skin and since it is not well organized, our system scans the bipolariza- tion states by continuously rotating the linearly polarized light incident on a skin lesion, and collecting differential contrasts between sequenced images when simultaneously averaging the statistical readout of a video camera. This noninvasive method emphasizes areas on skin where the neoplasm, or tumor, minimizes the statistical po- larization change of the scattered light from the lesion. The module can be considered as an assistant tool for epiluminescence microscopy. Images of skin tumors were captured in vivo before the patients having their surgery and compared to histopathological results. C

publication date

  • January 1, 2011