Detection of partial-thickness tears in ligaments and tendons by Stokes-polarimetry imaging

Jihoon Kim*, Raheel John, Jay Walsh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


A Stokes polarimetry imaging (SPI) system utilizes an algorithm developed to construct degree of polarization (DoP) image maps from linearly polarized light illumination. Partial-thickness tears of turkey tendons were imaged by the SPI system in order to examine the feasibility of the system to detect partial-thickness rotator cuff tear or general tendon pathology. The rotating incident polarization angle (IPA) for the linearly polarized light provides a way to analyze different tissue types which may be sensitive to IPA variations. Degree of linear polarization (DoLP) images revealed collagen fiber structure, related to partial-thickness tears, better than standard intensity images. DoLP images also revealed structural changes in tears that are related to the tendon load. DoLP images with red-wavelength-filtered incident light may show tears and related organization of collagen fiber structure at a greater depth from the tendon surface. Degree of circular polarization (DoCP) images exhibited well the horizontal fiber orientation that is not parallel to the vertically aligned collagen fibers of the tendon. The SPI system's DOLP images reveal alterations in tendons and ligaments, which have a tissue matrix consisting largely of collagen, better than intensity images. All polarized images showed modulated intensity as the IPA was varied. The optimal detection of the partial-thickness tendon tears at a certain IPA was observed. The SPI system with varying IPA and spectral information can improve the detection of partial-thickness rotator cuff tears by higher visibility of fiber orientations and thereby improve diagnosis and treatment of tendon related injuries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBiomedical Applications of Light Scattering II
StatePublished - Apr 21 2008
EventBiomedical Applications of Light Scattering II - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 19 2008Jan 21 2008


OtherBiomedical Applications of Light Scattering II
CountryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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