Steven L. Jacques, Ph.D., Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Oregon Graduate Institute, Portland, Oregon, USA. email:,

Basic science studies.


Polystyrene spheres rapidly depolarize incident linearly polarized light due to reflectance off oblique surfaces.

Birefringent tissues (muscle) rapidly depolarize linearly polarized light by dephasing parallel and perpendicular components.

Non-birefringent tissues (liver) slowly depolarize incident light.

Polarization images are expected to involve the epidermis and upper superficial papillary dermis, but do not penetrate into the dermis. The birefringent collagen is expected to randomize the polarization very rapidly.

The polarization images concentrate their image contrast within the region where cancer arises. Any perturbation in the uniform dermal layer due to cancer invasion will perturb the otherwise regular appearance of the dermis.