Polarization-sensitive optical projection tomography for muscle fiber imaging Articles uri icon


publication date

  • January 2016

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 8


  • 6 (19241)

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2045-2322


  • Optical projection tomography (OPT) is a tool used for three-dimensional imaging of millimeter-scale biological samples, with the advantage of exhibiting isotropic resolution typically in the micron range. OPT can be divided into two types: transmission OPT (tOPT) and emission OPT (eOPT). Compared with eOPT, tOPT discriminates different tissues based on their absorption coefficient, either intrinsic or after specific staining. However, it fails to distinguish muscle fibers whose absorption coefficients are similar to surrounding tissues. To circumvent this problem, in this article we demonstrate a polarization sensitive OPT system which improves the detection and 3D imaging of muscle fibers by using polarized light. We also developed image acquisition and processing protocols that, together with the system, enable the clear visualization of muscles. Experimental results show that the muscle fibers of diaphragm and stomach, difficult to be distinguished in regular tOPT, were clearly displayed in our system, proving its potential use. Moreover, polarization sensitive OPT was fused with tOPT to investigate the stomach tissue comprehensively. Future applications of polarization sensitive OPT could be imaging other fiberlike structures such as myocardium or other tissues presenting high optical anisotropy.


  • 3-D reconstruction
    Optical imaging