Oct. 29 - Brett Bouma, Ph.D.
Polarimetry as a novel source of contrast in intravascular OCT
Brett E. Bouma, Ph.D.
Professor at Harvard Medical School
Intravascular OCT is widely available for coronary artery imaging to guide percutaneous intervention and characterize atherosclerosis. Conventional OCT provides cross-sectional images based on the intensity of back-scattered infrared light and is characterized by high resolution and high acquisition speed. Polarizationsensitive OCT is well known for its ability to characterize the birefringence of biological tissues, but robust implementation of polarimetry through rotating optical catheters has proven challenging. This seminar will focus on the physical principles underpinning polarimetry and the hurdles to its use in intravascular imaging. A new processing approach will be discussed that permits accurate quantitative polarimetry and results from a study of human cadaver vessels with comparison to histopathology. Recent results from a human pilot study in vivo will also be presented, demonstrating the potential of polarimetry for enhancing image contrast and the information that can be obtained about coronary atherosclerosis.