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Enhancement of confocal microscopy images using Mueller-matrix polarimetry


A simplified procedure based on Mueller‐matrix polarimetry has recently been reported as a method of retinal image improvement in a confocal ophthalmoscope [J. M. Bueno et al., J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 24, 1337 (2007)]. Here, we have applied the technique to imaging static samples providing well‐defined reflection properties. The method uses a generator of polarization states in the illumination pathway of a confocal scanning laser system. From the calculated four elements of the Mueller matrix of any sample and instrument combination, the best images defined by different metrics were constructed. For samples with specular, diffuse and mixed reflections, the best‐constructed images showed an enhancement in both objective and subjective image quality compared to the original images and those obtained from frame averaging. This technique could improve microscopic imaging in many diverse fields, particularly in biomedical imaging.


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