Abstract

Angle-resolved low-coherence interferometry (a∕LCI) enables us to make depth-resolved measurements of scattered light that can be used to recover subsurface structural information such as the size of cell nuclei. Endoscopic frequency-domain a∕LCI (fa∕LCI) acquires data by using a novel fiber probe in a fraction of a second, making it a clinically practical system. However, birefringent effects in fiber-based systems can alter the polarization state of the incident light and potentially skew the collected data. We analyze the effect the polarization state of the incident light has on scattering data collected from polystyrene microsphere tissue phantoms and in vitro cell samples and examine the subsequent accuracy of the determined sizes. It is shown that the endoscopic fa∕LCI system accurately determines the size of polystyrene microspheres without the need to control the polarization of the incident beam, but that epithelial cell nuclear sizes are accurately determined only when the polarization state of the incident light is well characterized.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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