Abstract

Polarimetric optical techniques such as polarization microscopy or polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography normally assume that light is perpendicular to the sample surface and that fibrils of a birefringent biological tissue are arranged in a plane parallel to this surface. The approaches that describe quantitatively polarimetric data from tissues with nonparallel fibril orientation and/or off-axis incidence usually lack a rigorous theoretical analysis. We present a polarimetric model with arbitrary fibril orientation and/or variable incidence angle by means of the extended Jones matrix theory, the polar decomposition, and Poincaré equivalence theorem. The model, suitable for diagnosis or tissue structure analysis, is applied to articular cartilage.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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