Lasers in Medical Science

, Volume 34, Issue 7, pp 1283–1293 | Cite as

Polarization-resolved Stokes-Mueller imaging: a review of technology and applications

  • Spandana K. U.
  • K. K. Mahato
  • Nirmal MazumderEmail author
Review Article


Polarization microscopy, a powerful optical tool to study anisotropic properties of biomolecules, provides better microstructural information of a sample as compared with conventional optical microscopic techniques. The measurement and analysis of polarization states of light can be performed using both Jones matrix as well as Stokes algebra. Further, the details of optical properties of specimen are characterized by Mueller matrix. However, the application of Jones calculus is limited to perfectly polarized light, but Stokes-Mueller polarimetry is emerging as a promising tool for tissue imaging due to its application irrespective of polarization state of the light. In this review article, we explain the development of Stokes-Mueller formalism in context of linear optics. Furthermore, application of Mueller matrix decomposition (MMD) method to derive sample properties is demonstrated in several bio-medical studies.


Anisotropy Optics Microscopy Polarimetry Tissue Imaging 



We thank SERB-Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India for financial support. The authors thank Dr. K. Satyamoorthy, Director, School of Life Sciences, MAHE, for his encouragement and Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, for providing the infrastructure and facilities.

Funding information

This study was financially supported by SERB-DST, Government of India (Project Number—ECR/2016/001944).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biophysics, School of Life SciencesManipal Academy of Higher EducationManipalIndia

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