The response to polarization of second-harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy images of samples with different collagen distributions (quasialigned, partially organized, and nonorg nized) has been analyzed. A linear decay relationship between the external arrangement and polarization sensitivity was found. SHG signal from nonorganized samples presented a large structural dispersion and a weak dependence with incident polarization. Polarization dependence is also associated with the internal organization of the collagen fibers, directly related to the ratio of hyperpolarizabilities ρ. This parameter can experimentally be computed from the modulation of the SHG signal. The results show that both external and internal collagen structures are closely related. This provides a tool to obtain information of internal properties from the polarimetric response of the external spatial distribution of collagen, which might be useful in clinical diagnosis of pathologies related to changes in collagen structure.
© 2016 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)