Abstract

Defocus aberration in optical systems, including optical coherence tomography (OCT) systems employing Gaussian illumination, gives rise to the well-known compromise between transverse resolution and depth-of-field. This results in blurry images when out-of-focus, whilst other low-order aberrations (e.g., astigmatism, coma, etc.) present in both the OCT system and biological samples further reduce image resolution and contrast. Computational adaptive optics (CAO) is a computed optical interferometric imaging technique that modifies the phase of the OCT data in the spatial frequency domain to correct optical aberrations and provide improvement of the image quality throughout the three-dimensional (3D) volume. In this Letter, we report the first implementation of CAO for polarization-sensitive OCT to correct defocus and other low-order aberrations, providing enhanced polarization-sensitive imaging contrast (i.e., intensity and phase retardation) on a 3D OCT phantom, molded plastics, ex vivo chicken breast tissue, and ex vivo human breast cancer tissue.

© 2021 Optical Society of America

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Data underlying the results presented in this paper are not publicly available at this time but may be obtained from the authors upon reasonable request and through a collaborative research agreement.

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