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Published February 20, 2006 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Burn depth determination using high-speed polarization-sensitive Mueller optical coherence tomography with continuous polarization modulation


National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) estimates more than 1.1 million burn injuries per year in the United States, with nearly 15,000 fatalities from wounds and related complications. An imaging modality capable of evaluating burn depths non-invasively is the polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography. We report on the use of a high-speed, fiber-based Mueller-matrix OCT system with continuous source-polarization modulation for burn depth evaluation. The new system is capable of imaging at near video-quality frame rates (8 frames per second) with resolution of 10 μm in biological tissue (index of refraction: 1.4) and sensitivity of 78 dB. The sample arm optics is integrated in a hand-held probe simplifying the in vivo experiments. The applicability of the system for burn depth determination is demonstrated using biological samples of porcine tendon and porcine skin. The results show an improved imaging depth (1 mm in tendon) and a clear localization of the thermally damaged region. The burnt area determined from OCT images compares well with the histology, thus proving the system's potential for burn depth determination.

Additional Information

© 2006 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). This project was sponsored by the Department of the Army (Cooperative Agreement Number: DAMD17-97-2-7016). The content of the information presented in this paper does not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the government or NMTB. No official endorsement should be inferred.

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