Abstract

A single-camera, high-speed, polarization-sensitive, spectral-domain optical-coherence-tomography system was developed to measure the polarization properties of the in vivo human retina. A novel phase-unwrapping method in birefringent media is described to extract the total reflectivity, accumulative retardance, and fast-axis orientation from a specially designed sequence of polarization states incident on the sample. A quarter-wave plate was employed to test the performance of the system. The average error and standard deviation of retardation measurements were 3.2° and 2.3°, respectively, and of the fast-axis orientation 1.2° and 0.7° over the range of 0°–180°. The depolarization properties of the retinal pigment epithelium were clearly observed in both retardance and fast-axis orientation image. A normalized standard deviation of the retardance and of the fast-axis orientation is introduced to segment the polarization-scrambling layer of the retinal pigment epithelium.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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Opt. Express

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Figures (3)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Schematic of the PSOCT system: SP, spectrometer; PC, polarization controller; FC, fiber collimator; VP, vertical polarizer; M, mirror; BS, nonpolarization beam splitter.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Quarter-wave-plate calibration: A, double pass phase retardance calibration. The mean absolute error was 3.2°, and the standard deviation was 2.3°; B, fast-axis orientation calibration. The mean absolute error was 1.2°, and the standard deviation was 0.7°.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

In vivo human retinal imaging results. A, reflectivity image; image size: 2.5 mm ( x ) × 2.5 mm ( y ) , 500 lines. The unit of the gray color bar is decibels. Blue, light depolarization ( 65 70 db ) ; green, middle depolarization ( 70 75 db ) ; red, strong depolarization ( > 75 db ) . B, single-pass retardance; the depolarization scrambling RPE layer is viewed as a blue, green, and red interleaving band (bright white layer in black/white version). C, fast-axis orientation. D, the multiplication image of the standard deviation of retardance and the fast-axis orientation. The color bar is in units of decibels.

Equations (6)

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P ( r ) = P S { 1 2 + 1 2 cos 2 ( r ) [ cos 2 ( 2 θ ) + sin 2 ( 2 θ ) cos ( δ ) ] cos ( r ) sin ( r ) sin ( 2 θ ) sin ( δ ) 1 2 sin 2 ( r ) cos ( δ ) } ,
E y = sin ( δ ) exp ( i ( π δ 2 θ ) ) , φ y 1 = π δ 2 θ .
E y = sin ( δ ) exp ( i ( δ + 2 θ ) ) , φ y 2 = δ + 2 θ ,
A i s 2 = 1 2 ( A 45 2 + A 45 2 ) + 1 2 [ ( A 45 2 + A 45 2 2 A + 90 2 ) 2 + ( A 45 2 A 45 2 ) 2 ] 1 2 ,
δ = cos 1 ( 1 2 A + 90 2 A i s 2 ) ,
θ = { π ( φ y 1 φ y 2 ) 4 if A 45 2 > A 45 2 π ( φ y 1 φ y 2 ) 4 + π 2 if A 45 2 < A 45 2 phase unwrapping } .

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