Photorefractive Polymers for Biomedical Imaging

B. Kippelen, N. Peyghambarian, S.R. Marder

Imaging through highly scattering media using optical radiation has recently received particular attention due to potential applications in medical diagnostics. By using optical radiation one can avoid the hazards of ionizing X-rays while obtaining high spatial resolution (potentially diffraction limited) images, offering a distinct advantage over current clinical techniques. However, optical radiation, unlike ionizing radiation, is heavily scattered in biological tissue by refractive index inhomogeneities. As a result, the transmitted light consists of photons that have experienced no scattering events (ballistic light), weakly scattered photons that emerge almost collinear with the incident radiation (so-called "snake-like" light), and highly scattered (or diffuse) photons.

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