Detection of carious lesions utilizing depolarization imaging by polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


As dental caries is one of the most common diseases, the early and noninvasive detection of carious lesions plays an important role in public health care. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) with its ability of depth-resolved, high-resolution, noninvasive, fast imaging has been previously recognized as a promising tool in dentistry. Additionally, polarization sensitive imaging provides quantitative measures on the birefringent tissue properties and can be utilized for imaging dental tissue, especially enamel and dentin. By imaging three exemplary tooth samples ex vivo with proximal white spot, brown spot, and cavity, we show that the combination of polarization sensitive OCT and the degree of polarization uniformity (DOPU) algorithm is a promising approach for the detection of proximal carious lesions due to the depolarization contrast of demineralized tissue. Furthermore, we investigate different sizes of the DOPU evaluation kernel on the resulting contrast and conclude a suitable value for this application. We propose that DOPU provides an easy to interpret image representation and appropriate contrast for possible future screening applications in early caries diagnostics.


Original languageEnglish
Article number071203
JournalJournal of biomedical optics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2018

External IDs

Scopus 85042609513
PubMed 29374403
Scopus 85041176475
ORCID /0000-0002-8160-3000/work/142248331
ORCID /0000-0003-0554-2178/work/142249804
ORCID /0009-0008-7642-8608/work/142255307
ORCID /0000-0003-2292-5533/work/142256548


Sustainable Development Goals


  • biomedical imaging, dental caries, dentistry, depolarization, optical coherence tomography, polarization contrast