Abstract

A dual-channel Mach–Zehnder interferometer using heterodyne detection allowed us to measure simultaneously parallel and perpendicular polarization components through various mammalian tissues at a wavelength of λ=633 nm. By contrast with liver tissue, squeletic muscles of a few millimeters thickness exhibit strong anisotropic properties that change the direction of the linear polarization of the light. This rotation of the initial plane of polarization is to be distinguished from the depolarization that is due to the multiple light scattering that goes along with large temporal fluctuations. Complementary photos under linearly polarized light illustrate the behavior difference between liver (isotropic medium) and muscle (anisotropic medium).

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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