Polarization-sensitive OCT

Make tensions visible!

Measuring systems for optical coherence tomography (OCT) offer great added value in medical diagnostics due to their high resolution and measuring speed. Polarization-sensitive OCT (PS-OCT) extends the procedure by evaluating the individual polarization properties of samples. Tissues containing collagen, such as cartilage, show strong birefringence, which can be measured and evaluated with PS-OCT. In addition, changes in tissue density and elasticity as well as the mechanical stress caused by PS-OCT can be subjected to functional testing.

The Fraunhofer IPT is concerned with the development of PS-OCT systems in the Spectral Domain and Swept-Source formats as well as the polarization-sensitive measuring heads required for these systems. In addition, the Fraunhofer IPT, together with clinical partners, develops evaluation parameters that represent the functional aspects of the investigated sample and integrates the necessary algorithms into the evaluation software.

Our service

  • Development of individual PS-OCT systems (SD and SS based)
  • Implementation of individual signal and image processing algorithms
  • Systems integration
  • Implementation of preclinical feasibility studies
  • Development of test benches for functional diagnostics (e.g. indentation device)


Cartilage diagnostics

With PS-OCT, early damage states of the cartilage can be detected so that complete healing is possible.


The PS-OCT measurement enables a non-invasive, volumetric determination of the elasticity properties of the sample under targeted mechanical loading.