Abstract

We propose a method for differentiating classes of light scatterers based upon their temporal and polarization properties computed from time series of polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT) images. The amplitude (motility) and time scale (autocorrelation decay time) of the speckle fluctuations are combined with the cross-polarization pixel-wise to render Motility-, autocorrelation-, and polarization-sensitive (MAPS) OCT contrast images. This combination of metrics provides high specificity for discriminating diffusive gold nanorods and mammary epithelial cell spheroids within 3D tissue culture, based on their unique MAPS signature. This has implications toward highly specific contrast in molecular (nanoparticle-based) and functional (cellular activity) imaging using standard PS-OCT hardware.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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