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Optical phase conjugation for turbidity suppression in biological samples


Elastic optical scattering, the dominant light-interaction process in biological tissues, prevents tissues from being transparent. Although scattering may appear stochastic, it is in fact deterministic in nature. We show that, despite experimental imperfections, optical phase conjugation (λ = 532 nm) can force a transmitted light field to retrace its trajectory through a biological target and recover the original light field. For a 0.69-mm-thick chicken breast tissue section, we can enhance point-source light return by a factor of 5×103 and achieve a light transmission enhancement factor of 3.8 within a collection angle of 29°. Additionally, we find that the reconstruction's quality, measured by the width of the reconstructed point source, is independent of tissue thickness (up to a thickness of 0.69 mm). This phenomenon may be used to enhance light transmission through tissue, enable measurement of small tissue movements, and form the basis of new tissue imaging techniques.

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Figure 1: Schematics of TSOPC set-up and scattering medium.
Figure 2: Demonstration of the TSOPC phenomenon through a 0.46-mm-thick chicken breast tissue section.
Figure 3: TSOPC using point-source illumination.
Figure 4: Strength of the reconstructed light field under OPC and non-OPC conditions.
Figure 5: Quality of the reconstructed light field under OPC and non-OPC conditions.


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This work was supported by the National Science Foundation career award BES-0547657 and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Center for Optofluidic Integration.

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Authors and Affiliations



Z.Y. was responsible for project planning, experimental work and data analysis. D.P. provided advice and loaned some equipment for the project. M.S.F. provided advice. C.Y. was responsible for administering the project, project planning, data analysis, and obtaining financial support for the project.

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Correspondence to Changhuei Yang.

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Yaqoob, Z., Psaltis, D., Feld, M. et al. Optical phase conjugation for turbidity suppression in biological samples. Nature Photon 2, 110–115 (2008).

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