Since polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT) is emerging as a new technique for determining phase retardation in biological materials, we measured phase retardation changes in cartilage during local laser heating for application to laser-assisted cartilage reshaping. Thermally-induced changes in phase retardation of nasal septal cartilage following Nd:YAG laser irradiation were investigated using a PS-OCT system. A PS-OCT system and infrared imaging radiometer were used to record, respectively, depth-resolved images of the Stokes parameters of light backscattered from ex vivo porcine nasal septal cartilage and radiometric temperature changes following laser irradiation. PS-OCT images of cartilage were recorded before (control), during and after laser irradiation. From the measured Stokes parameters (I, Q, U and V), an estimate of the relative phase retardation between two orthogonal polarizations was computed to determine birefringence in cartilage. Phase retardation images of light backscattered from cartilage show significant changes in retardation following laser irradiation. To investigate the origin of retardation changes in response to local heat generation, we differentiated two possible mechanisms: dehydration and thermal denaturation. PS-OCT images of cartilage were recorded after dehydration in glycerol and thermal denaturation in heated physiological saline. In our experiments, observed retardation changes in cartilage are primarily due to dehydration. Since dehydration is a principal source for retardation changes in cartilage over the range of heating profiles investigated, our studies suggest that the use of PS-OCT as a feedback control methodology for non-ablative cartilage reshaping requires further investigation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging