Development of non-invasive and sensitive characterization tools for lipids is essential e.g. for atherosclerosis research. Although third-harmonic generation (THG) microscopy has been shown to be capable of imaging lipid structures [1], polarization-sensitivity in this imaging mode remains unexplored. Furthermore, the use of unconventional polarizations, e.g., radial polarization (RP), in label-free nonlinear microscopy of biological structures has been largely limited to second-harmonic generation (SHG) and coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) [2-4]. Tight focusing of RP provides a strong longitudinal field component at the focus, which can be used to efficiently probe axially-oriented structures [5]. In addition, the imaging capability of THG with RP has only been suggested using simulations [6]. In this work, we demonstrate the feasibility of polarization-sensitive THG microscopy for examining lipid structures.

© 2013 IEEE

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