Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

The best view for disease diagnosis

Optical imaging is non-invasive and very technically advanced, making it a potent tool for diagnosis of a range of diseases including cancer as it provides a wealth of information. EU research has investigated a key parameter, polarisation, to enable its use in the clinic.
The best view for disease diagnosis
Despite the potential of optical imaging, very few of its related technologies have made it to the market. The 3SMP project focused on developing a unique snapshot Mueller polarimeter (SMP) to analyse the polarisation state, a significant factor in molecular orientation and microstructural shape, which in turn, are often connected to the degree of the disease.

The 3SMP polarimetric prototype is based on a spectral coding that enables high-speed measurement of tissue polarisation properties, compensating for polarimetric distortion in real-time. Research results have paved the way to full Mueller endoscopic imaging.

To avoid the problem of fibre handling in optical coherence tomography (OCT) devices, which changes polarisation properties of the sample with depth, the researchers built a prototype tolerant to this phenomenon. Generation and analysis of polarisation occur in relation to the fibre output that illuminates the sample. After re-injection of the light into the collecting fibre, changes in polarisation do not affect the measurement.

Using a new tool, complex master slave interferometry (CMSI), an immediate improvement in the speed of displaying cross-sectional images at high rates was achieved. Based on a discrete transformation that integrates the characteristics of the interferometer measured in a calibration step, the lengthy calculations based on data resampling and Fourier transformation are avoided.

The result is rapid long axial images of the anterior segment of human eyes. Moreover, a study applying CMSI to an original snapshot polarisation-sensitive OCT built with optical passive elements is to be submitted in the near future to a journal in optics.

3SMP advances as applied to imaging the posterior and anterior pole of the eye in-vivo as well as excised tissue have a range of applications. These include detecting basal cell carcinoma of eye lids and vocal cords.

Related information

Keywords

Diagnosis, optical imaging, polarisation, snapshot Mueller polarimeter, 3SMP
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