Biomed Eng Lett.  2019 Aug;9(3):339-349. 10.1007/s13534-019-00116-w.

A multiscale Mueller polarimetry module for a stereo zoom microscope

  • 1Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
  • 2Laboratory for Optical and Computational Instrumentation, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Wisconsin at Madison, Madison, USA.
  • 3Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin at Madison, Madison, USA.
  • 4Morgridge Institute for Research, Madison, WI, USA.
  • 5General Surgical Oncology Program, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
  • 6Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
  • 7Division of Biophysics and Bioimaging, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network, Toronto, ON, Canada.
  • 8Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.


Mueller polarimetry is a quantitative polarized light imaging modality that is capable of label-free visualization of tissue pathology, does not require extensive sample preparation, and is suitable for wide-field tissue analysis. It holds promise for selected applications in biomedicine, but polarimetry systems are often constrained by limited end-user accessibility and/or long-imaging times. In order to address these needs, we designed a multiscale-polarimetry module that easily couples to a commercially available stereo zoom microscope. This paper describes the module design and provides initial polarimetry imaging results from a murine preclinical breast cancer model and human breast cancer samples. The resultant polarimetry module has variable resolution and field of view, is low-cost, and is simple to switch in or out of a commercial microscope. The module can reduce long imaging times by adopting the main imaging approach used in pathology: scanning at low resolution to identify regions of interest, then at high resolution to inspect the regions in detail. Preliminary results show how the system can aid in region of interest identification for pathology, but also highlight that more work is needed to understand how tissue structures of pathological interest appear in Mueller polarimetry images across varying spatial zoom scales.


Mueller matrix polarimetry; Multiscale; Stereo zoom microscope; Module; Pathology; Label-free imaging

MeSH Terms

Breast Neoplasms
Family Characteristics
Weights and Measures
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