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Digital histology with Mueller microscopy: How to mitigate an impact of tissue cut thickness fluctuations

: Lee, Hee Ryung; Li, Pengcheng; Yoo, Thomas Sang Hyuk; Lotz, Christian; Groeber-Becker, Florian Kai; Dembski, Sofia; Garcia-Caurel, Enric; Ossikovski, Razvigor; Ma, Hui; Novikova, Tatiana


Journal of biomedical optics 24 (2019), No.7, Art. 076004, 9 pp.
ISSN: 1083-3668
ISSN: 1560-2281
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ISC ()
digital histology; logarithmic decomposition; Mueller polarimetry; skin tissue models

Mueller microscopy studies of fixed unstained histological cuts of human skin models were combined with an analysis of experimental data within the framework of differential Mueller matrix (MM) formalism. A custom-built Mueller polarimetric microscope was used in transmission configuration for the optical measurements of skin tissue model adjacent cuts of various nominal thicknesses (5 to 30  μm). The maps of both depolarization and polarization parameters were calculated from the corresponding microscopic MM images by applying a logarithmic Mueller matrix decomposition (LMMD) pixelwise. The parameters derived from LMMD of measured tissue cuts and the intensity of transmitted light were used for an automated segmentation of microscopy images to delineate dermal and epidermal layers. The quadratic dependence of depolarization parameters and linear dependence of polarization parameters on thickness, as predicted by the theory, was confirmed in our measurements. These findings pave the way toward digital histology with polarized light by presenting the combination of optimal optical markers, which allows mitigating the impact of tissue cut thickness fluctuations and increases the contrast of polarimetric images for tissue diagnostics.