Depolarization for the assessment of caries in polarized light microscopy

Publikation: Beitrag in Buch/Konferenzbericht/Sammelband/GutachtenBeitrag in KonferenzbandBeigetragenBegutachtung


Polarized light microscopy (PLM) is an established technique for the inspection of thin tooth sections in dental research. However, conventional PLM is mainly based on the qualitative evaluation of color-dependent birefringence, depolarization and transmittance but lacks a quantitative interpretation and, thus, the comparison with other polarimetric imaging methods. Here, we describe an easy to implement extension of PLM that enables measuring the degree of polarization (DOP). By replacing the analyzer and RGB camera in PLM with a monochrome polarization camera, linear polarization states can be directly determined from the transmitted light. Additionally rotating the polarizer in the illumination path and, by that, the state incident into the sample facilitates reconstructing a DOP image from multiple linear measurements. The resulting depolarization measurements are compared with conventional PLM images as well as X-ray micro-computed tomography (µCT) data of the intact teeth. Our results show that caries and demineralization appear to be directly related to depolarization in enamel. However, the interpretation is more complicated for dentin, which shows a reduced DOP also in sound tissue. We assume that these insights support the development and analysis of future dental polarimetry techniques in vivo, such as intra-oral polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT).


TitelPolarized Light and Optical Angular Momentum for Biomedical Diagnostics 2024
Redakteure/-innenJessica C. Ramella-Roman, Hui Ma, Tatiana Novikova, Daniel S. Elson, I. Alex Vitkin
Herausgeber (Verlag)SPIE - The international society for optics and photonics, Bellingham
ISBN (elektronisch)9781510669499
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2024


ReiheProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE


TitelPolarized Light and Optical Angular Momentum for Biomedical Diagnostics 2024
Dauer27 - 28 Januar 2024
StadtSan Francisco
LandUSA/Vereinigte Staaten

Externe IDs

ORCID /0009-0002-1419-8698/work/161409175
ORCID /0000-0002-8160-3000/work/161409290
ORCID /0000-0003-0554-2178/work/161409372
ORCID /0009-0008-7642-8608/work/161409919
ORCID /0000-0003-2292-5533/work/161409980



  • caries, demineralization, dentistry, depolarization, microscopy, polarized light imaging