Polarization microscopy for characterizing fiber orientation of ocular tissues

Ning Jiun Jan, Jonathan L. Grimm, Huong Tran, Kira L. Lathrop, Gadi Wollstein, Richard A. Bilonick, Hiroshi Ishikawa, Larry Kagemann, Joel S. Schuman, Ian A. Sigal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Characterizing the collagen fiber orientation and organization in the eye is necessary for a complete understanding of ocular biomechanics. In this study, we assess the performance of polarized light microscopy to determine collagen fiber orientation of ocular tissues. Our results demonstrate that the method provides objective, accurate, repeatable and robust data on fiber orientation with μm-scale resolution over a broad, cm-scale, field of view, unaffected by formalin fixation, without requiring tissue dehydration, labeling or staining. Together, this shows that polarized light microscopy is a powerful method for studying collagen architecture in the eye, with applications ranging from normal physiology and aging, to pathology and transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number248713
Pages (from-to)4705-4718
Number of pages14
JournalBiomedical Optics Express
Issue number12
StatePublished - Nov 5 2015


  • Birefringence
  • Image analysis
  • Image processing
  • Microscopy
  • Ophthalmology
  • Polarization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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