Employing a low coherence Michelson interferometer, two dimensional images of optical birefringence in turbid samples as a function of depth are measured. Polarization sensitive detection of the signal formed by interference of backscattered light from the sample and a mirror or reference plane in the reference arm which defines a reference optical path length, give the optical phase delay between light propagating along the fast and slow axes of the birefringence sample. Images showing the change in birefringence in response to irradiation of the sample are produced as an example of the detection apparatus and methodology. The technique allow rapid, noncontact investigation of tissue or sample diagnostic imaging for various medical or materials procedures.
This invention was made with government support under Grant No. DE-FG03-91ER61227 awarded by the Department of Energy and Grant Nos. AR42437, AR41638 and RR01192 awarded by the National Institutes of Health. The government has certain rights in this invention.