Optical and Quantum Electronics

, Volume 37, Issue 13–15, pp 1397–1408 | Cite as

Tomographic Imaging of Collagen Fiber Orientation in Human Tissue Using Depth-Resolved Polarimetry of Second-Harmonic-Generation Light

  • Takeshi YasuiEmail author
  • Kunihiko Sasaki
  • Yoshiyuki Tohno
  • Tsutomu Araki


We propose a nonlinear optical probe method to image the distribution of collagen fiber orientation in human tissue by measuring the polarization of collagen-induced second-harmonic-generation (SHG) light (SHG polarimetry). Depth-resolved SHG polarimetry, with a depth resolution of 14 μm, was used to evaluate the cross-sectional profile of collagen fiber orientation in Achilles tendon and dentin, revealing a characteristic distribution of collagen orientation along the depth direction. We evaluated the two-dimensional (2D) lateral distribution of collagen fiber orientation in back reticular dermis and anklebone by polarization-resolved SHG imaging, and confirmed an appreciable difference in the distribution profiles of the two samples. We further extended the method to a depth-resolved measurement of the three-dimensional (3D) distribution of collagen orientation in anklebone. The proposed system promises to be a powerful tool for in vivo measurement of collagen fiber orientation in human tissue.


collagen femtosecond laser orientation polarimetry second-harmonic-generation tomography 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takeshi Yasui
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kunihiko Sasaki
    • 1
  • Yoshiyuki Tohno
    • 2
  • Tsutomu Araki
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Engineering ScienceOsaka UniversityToyonakaJapan
  2. 2.1st Department of AnatomyNara Medical UniversityKashiharaJapan

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