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Type: Journal article
Title: Deep tissue volume imaging of birefringence through fibre-optic needle probes for the delineation of breast tumour
Author: Villiger, M.
Lorenser, D.
McLaughlin, R.A.
Quirk, B.C.
Kirk, R.W.
Bouma, B.E.
Sampson, D.D.
Citation: Scientific Reports, 2016; 6(1):28771-1-28771-11
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 2045-2322
Statement of
Martin Villiger, Dirk Lorenser, Robert A. McLaughlin, Bryden C. Quirk, Rodney W. Kirk, Brett E. Bouma and David D. Sampson
Abstract: Identifying tumour margins during breast-conserving surgeries is a persistent challenge. We have previously developed miniature needle probes that could enable intraoperative volume imaging with optical coherence tomography. In many situations, however, scattering contrast alone is insufficient to clearly identify and delineate malignant regions. Additional polarization-sensitive measurements provide the means to assess birefringence, which is elevated in oriented collagen fibres and may offer an intrinsic biomarker to differentiate tumour from benign tissue. Here, we performed polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography through miniature imaging needles and developed an algorithm to efficiently reconstruct images of the depth-resolved tissue birefringence free of artefacts. First ex vivo imaging of breast tumour samples revealed excellent contrast between lowly birefringent malignant regions, and stromal tissue, which is rich in oriented collagen and exhibits higher birefringence, as confirmed with co-located histology. The ability to clearly differentiate between tumour and uninvolved stroma based on intrinsic contrast could prove decisive for the intraoperative assessment of tumour margins.
Keywords: Breast
Breast Neoplasms
Microscopy, Polarization
Tomography, Optical Coherence
Intraoperative Period
Reproducibility of Results
Fiber Optic Technology
Description: Published online: 01 July 2016
Rights: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit
DOI: 10.1038/srep28771
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