Summary: The property of nonisotropic media, such as crystals, whereby a single incident beam of light traverses the medium as two beams, each plane-polarized, the planes being at right angles to each other. (Cline et al., Dictionary of Visual Science, 4th ed)

Top Publications

  1. Zhang Z, Xu Z, Zhang L. Tunable and switchable dual-wavelength dissipative soliton generation in an all-normal-dispersion Yb-doped fiber laser with birefringence fiber filter. Opt Express. 2012;20:26736-42 pubmed publisher
    ..Besides single-wavelength mode-locking, dual-wavelength mode-locking was achieved using an in-line birefringence fiber filter with periodic multiple passbands, which not only allows multiple wavelengths to oscillate ..
  2. Bowd C, Medeiros F, Weinreb R, Zangwill L. The effect of atypical birefringence patterns on glaucoma detection using scanning laser polarimetry with variable corneal compensation. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2007;48:223-7 pubmed
    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of the presence of atypical birefringence patterns, as measured by the typical scan score (TSS), on the diagnostic accuracy of a scanning laser polarimeter (the GDx VCC; Carl Zeiss ..
  3. Todorović M, Jiao S, Ai J, Pereda Cubián D, Stoica G, Wang L. In vivo burn imaging using Mueller optical coherence tomography. Opt Express. 2008;16:10279-84 pubmed
    ..By using a decomposition algorithm developed by our group, we also mapped the local birefringence of the skin. The experimental results demonstrate the system's potential for in vivo burn-depth determination.
  4. Toth M, Hollo G. Enhanced corneal compensation for scanning laser polarimetry on eyes with atypical polarisation pattern. Br J Ophthalmol. 2005;89:1139-42 pubmed
    ..001). Superior and inferior average thickness did not differ between VCC and ECC in the normal group. The new ECC software substantially improves polarimetric image analysis on eyes showing atypical polarisation pattern. ..
  5. Fortune B, Wang L, Cull G, Cioffi G. Intravitreal colchicine causes decreased RNFL birefringence without altering RNFL thickness. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2008;49:255-61 pubmed publisher
    To test the hypothesis that longitudinal differences between retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) birefringence, measured by scanning laser polarimetry (SLP), and RNFL thickness, measured by optical coherence tomography (OCT), are ..
  6. Pocock G, Aranibar R, Kemp N, Specht C, Markey M, Rylander H. The relationship between retinal ganglion cell axon constituents and retinal nerve fiber layer birefringence in the primate. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2009;50:5238-46 pubmed publisher
    To determine the degree of correlation between spatial characteristics of the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) birefringence (Delta n(RNFL)) surrounding the optic nerve head (ONH) with the corresponding anatomy of retinal ganglion cell (..
  7. Korol R, Finlay H, Josseau M, Lucas A, Canham P. Fluorescence spectroscopy and birefringence of molecular changes in maturing rat tail tendon. J Biomed Opt. 2007;12:024011 pubmed
    ..LIF spectroscopy integrates the signal from both elastin and collagen cross-linked structure, whereas birefringence is a measure of only collagen...
  8. de Almeida Ferreira Braga D, De Cássia Savio Figueira R, Queiroz P, Madaschi C, Iaconelli A, Borges E. Zona pellucida birefringence in in vivo and in vitro matured oocytes. Fertil Steril. 2010;94:2050-3 pubmed publisher
    To evaluate zona pellucida birefringence (ZPB) in immature and mature oocytes collected after controlled ovarian stimulation and to assess the influence of ZPB on oocyte development.
  9. Rama Raju G, Prakash G, Krishna K, Madan K. Meiotic spindle and zona pellucida characteristics as predictors of embryonic development: a preliminary study using PolScope imaging. Reprod Biomed Online. 2007;14:166-74 pubmed
    ..Quantitative measurement of length and retardance of the meiotic spindle and zona pellucida has a positive predictive value in relation to embryonic development. ..

More Information


  1. Yamanari M, Makita S, Lim Y, Yasuno Y. Full-range polarization-sensitive swept-source optical coherence tomography by simultaneous transversal and spectral modulation. Opt Express. 2010;18:13964-80 pubmed publisher
    ..4 microm in tissue. Full-range polarization-sensitive retinal images showed characteristic birefringence of fibrous tissues such as retinal nerve fiber, sclera, and lamina cribrosa.
  2. Brasselet S, Aït Belkacem D, Gasecka A, Munhoz F, Brustlein S, Brasselet S. Influence of birefringence on polarization resolved nonlinear microscopy and collagen SHG structural imaging. Opt Express. 2010;18:14859-70 pubmed publisher
    ..We show in particular the detrimental influence of birefringence on Second Harmonic Generation (SHG) and Two-Photon Excited Fluorescence (TPEF) polarization resolved ..
  3. Wood M, Ghosh N, Wallenburg M, Li S, Weisel R, Wilson B, et al. Polarization birefringence measurements for characterizing the myocardium, including healthy, infarcted, and stem-cell-regenerated tissues. J Biomed Opt. 2010;15:047009 pubmed publisher
    ..As healthy myocardial tissue is highly fibrous and anisotropic, it exhibits optical linear birefringence due to the different refractive indices parallel and perpendicular to the fibers...
  4. Reus N, Zhou Q, Lemij H. Enhanced imaging algorithm for scanning laser polarimetry with variable corneal compensation. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2006;47:3870-7 pubmed
    ..By neutralizing anterior segment birefringence with a variable compensator, the current VCC method allows direct measurement of RNFL retardation...
  5. Smid L, Vovko T, Popovic M, Petric A, Kepe V, Barrio J, et al. The 2,6-disubstituted naphthalene derivative FDDNP labeling reliably predicts Congo red birefringence of protein deposits in brain sections of selected human neurodegenerative diseases. Brain Pathol. 2006;16:124-30 pubmed
    ..FDDNP labeling showed high positive predictive value for birefringence in senile plaques and NFTs in AD, prion plaques and amyloid deposits in CAA...
  6. Radosevich A, Rogers J, Capoglu I, Mutyal N, Pradhan P, Backman V. Open source software for electric field Monte Carlo simulation of coherent backscattering in biological media containing birefringence. J Biomed Opt. 2012;17:115001 pubmed publisher source electric field tracking Monte Carlo program to model backscattering in biological media containing birefringence, with computation of the coherent backscattering phenomenon as an example...
  7. Mai T, Lemij H. Longitudinal measurement variability of corneal birefringence and retinal nerve fiber layer thickness in scanning laser polarimetry with variable corneal compensation. Arch Ophthalmol. 2008;126:1359-64 pubmed publisher
    To investigate the longitudinal corneal birefringence (corneal polarization axis [CPA] and corneal polarization magnitude [CPM]) variability in scanning laser polarimetry with variable corneal compensation and its effect on retinal nerve ..
  8. Petersen C, Vagnini L, Mauri A, Massaro F, Cavagna M, Baruffi R, et al. Relationship between DNA damage and sperm head birefringence. Reprod Biomed Online. 2011;22:583-9 pubmed publisher
    b>Birefringence or double refraction is the decomposition of a ray of light into two rays when it passes through an anisotropic material such as quartz. Sperm cells have been demonstrated to be optically anisotropic...
  9. Vidal B. Form birefringence as applied to biopolymer and inorganic material supraorganization. Biotech Histochem. 2010;85:365-78 pubmed publisher
    I review here form, or textural, birefringence (?(F)) in the context of advances in the field, as well as with regard to findings and applications in the physics of photonic devices, fibers maintaining polarization, photonic crystal ..
  10. van Turnhout M, Kranenbarg S, van Leeuwen J. Modeling optical behavior of birefringent biological tissues for evaluation of quantitative polarized light microscopy. J Biomed Opt. 2009;14:054018 pubmed publisher
    ..Because collagen fiber orientation and anisotropy are important for tissue function, these results can improve the biological and medical relevance of qPLM results. ..
  11. Ghosh N, Wood M, Vitkin I. Mueller matrix decomposition for extraction of individual polarization parameters from complex turbid media exhibiting multiple scattering, optical activity, and linear birefringence. J Biomed Opt. 2008;13:044036 pubmed publisher
    Linear birefringence and optical activity are two common optical polarization effects present in biological tissue, and determination of these properties has useful biomedical applications...
  12. Giattina S, Courtney B, Herz P, Harman M, Shortkroff S, Stamper D, et al. Assessment of coronary plaque collagen with polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT). Int J Cardiol. 2006;107:400-9 pubmed
    ..Changes in PS-OCT images are a measure of tissue birefringence. Twenty-two coronary artery segments were imaged with PS-OCT and analyzed by picrosirius staining (a measure ..
  13. Pircher M, Gotzinger E, Baumann B, Hitzenberger C. Corneal birefringence compensation for polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography of the human retina. J Biomed Opt. 2007;12:041210 pubmed
    ..To obtain undistorted birefringence patterns of the retina by PS-OCT, the corneal birefringence has to be compensated...
  14. Toth M, Hollo G. Evaluation of enhanced corneal compensation in scanning laser polarimetry: comparison with variable corneal compensation on human eyes undergoing LASIK. J Glaucoma. 2006;15:53-9 pubmed
    ..Anterior segment birefringence was assessed at each measurement session...
  15. Sakai S, Yamanari M, Miyazawa A, Matsumoto M, Nakagawa N, Sugawara T, et al. In vivo three-dimensional birefringence analysis shows collagen differences between young and old photo-aged human skin. J Invest Dermatol. 2008;128:1641-7 pubmed publisher
    Polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT) permits non-invasive visualization of dermal birefringence, mainly due to collagenous structures...
  16. Gramatikov B. Detecting fixation on a target using time-frequency distributions of a retinal birefringence scanning signal. Biomed Eng Online. 2013;12:41 pubmed publisher
    ..With very young patients who are not cooperative enough, this presents a problem, because central fixation may be present only during very short-lasting episodes, and can easily be missed by the FFT...
  17. Gotzinger E, Pircher M, Baumann B, Hirn C, Vass C, Hitzenberger C. Retinal nerve fiber layer birefringence evaluated with polarization sensitive spectral domain OCT and scanning laser polarimetry: a comparison. J Biophotonics. 2008;1:129-39 pubmed publisher
    ..spectral domain optical coherence tomography (PS-SD-OCT) system is used to measure phase retardation and birefringence of the human retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) in vivo...
  18. Berger J, Sztal T, Currie P. Quantification of birefringence readily measures the level of muscle damage in zebrafish. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2012;423:785-8 pubmed publisher
    ..This light effect, called birefringence, results from the diffraction of polarised light through the pseudo-crystalline array of the muscle sarcomeres...
  19. Knighton R, Huang X, Cavuoto L. Corneal birefringence mapped by scanning laser polarimetry. Opt Express. 2008;16:13738-51 pubmed
    Corneal birefringence affects polarization-sensitive optical measurements of the eye...
  20. Sinchuk K, Dudley R, Graham J, Clare M, Woldeyohannes M, Schenk J, et al. Tunable negative group index in metamaterial structures with large form birefringence. Opt Express. 2010;18:463-72 pubmed publisher using form birefringent structures. Large birefringence as much as Deltan/n = 0...
  21. Chow M, Yan K, Bennett M, Wong J. Birefringence and DNA condensation of liquid crystalline chromosomes. Eukaryot Cell. 2010;9:1577-87 pubmed publisher
    ..measurements using a semiautomatic polarizing microscope demonstrated that there is a large variation in the birefringence, an optical property of anisotropic materials, of the chromosomes from different dinoflagellate species, ..
  22. Elsner A, Weber A, Cheney M, VanNasdale D. Spatial distribution of macular birefringence associated with the Henle fibers. Vision Res. 2008;48:2578-85 pubmed publisher
    The spatial distribution of macular birefringence was modeled to examine the contribution from the foveal Henle fiber layer, particularly cone axons. The model was tested in 20 normal subjects, age 17-55yr...
  23. Sehi M, Guaqueta D, Greenfield D. An enhancement module to improve the atypical birefringence pattern using scanning laser polarimetry with variable corneal compensation. Br J Ophthalmol. 2006;90:749-53 pubmed
    To examine the repeatability and effect of an enhancement module on the severity of atypical birefringence patterns (ABP) using scanning laser polarimetery (SLP) with variable corneal compensation (VCC)...
  24. da Silva D, Vidal B, Zezell D, Zorn T, Nunez S, Ribeiro M. Collagen birefringence in skin repair in response to red polarized-laser therapy. J Biomed Opt. 2006;11:024002 pubmed
    ..irradiated using the electric field vector of the polarized laser radiation aligned in parallel with the rat's occipital-caudal direction show higher birefringence, indicating that collagen bundles in these lesions are more organized.
  25. Gramatikov B, Zalloum O, Wu Y, Hunter D, Guyton D. Birefringence-based eye fixation monitor with no moving parts. J Biomed Opt. 2006;11:34025 pubmed
    ..The algorithm is tested on a computer model, and the apparatus is tested on human subjects. This work demonstrates the feasibility of a fixation monitor with no moving parts. ..
  26. Fortune B, Cull G, Burgoyne C. Relative course of retinal nerve fiber layer birefringence and thickness and retinal function changes after optic nerve transection. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2008;49:4444-52 pubmed publisher
    To test the hypothesis that alterations of RNFL birefringence precede changes in RNFL thickness in an experimental model of RGC injury and, secondarily, to determine the time course of RGC functional abnormalities relative to RNFL ..
  27. Brusini P, Salvetat M, Zeppieri M, Tosoni C, Parisi L, Felletti M. Comparison between GDx VCC scanning laser polarimetry and Stratus OCT optical coherence tomography in the diagnosis of chronic glaucoma. Acta Ophthalmol Scand. 2006;84:650-5 pubmed
    ..The best performing indices for the GDx VCC and Stratus OCT with both ONH and RNFL scans gave similar AROCs, showing a moderate sensitivity in early-to-moderate glaucoma patients. ..
  28. Gramatikov B, Irsch K, Müllenbroich M, Frindt N, Qu Y, Gutmark R, et al. A device for continuous monitoring of true central fixation based on foveal birefringence. Ann Biomed Eng. 2013;41:1968-78 pubmed publisher
    A device for continuous monitoring of central fixation utilizes birefringence, the property of the Henle fibers surrounding the human fovea, to change the polarization state of light...
  29. Reus N, Lemij H. Relationships between standard automated perimetry, HRT confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy, and GDx VCC scanning laser polarimetry. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2005;46:4182-8 pubmed
    ..CSLO and SLP-VCC showed a very similar curvilinear relationship with SAP. The observed curvilinear relationships confirm earlier reports that these imaging devices appear to detect glaucomatous loss earlier than SAP. ..
  30. Makita S, Jaillon F, Yamanari M, Yasuno Y. Dual-beam-scan Doppler optical coherence angiography for birefringence-artifact-free vasculature imaging. Opt Express. 2012;20:2681-92 pubmed publisher
    ..However, birefringence of biological tissues is an obstacle to vasculature imaging...
  31. Elmaanaoui B, Wang B, Dwelle J, McElroy A, Liu S, Rylander H, et al. Birefringence measurement of the retinal nerve fiber layer by swept source polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography. Opt Express. 2011;19:10252-68 pubmed publisher
    ..SS-PS-OCT) instrument has been designed, constructed, and verified to provide high sensitivity depth-resolved birefringence and phase retardation measurements of the retinal nerve fiber layer...
  32. Huang X, Knighton R, Cavuoto L. Microtubule contribution to the reflectance of the retinal nerve fiber layer. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2006;47:5363-7 pubmed
    ..In rodent retinas, MTs are the only structure contributing to RNFL birefringence. To increase understanding of the anatomic basis for clinical RNFL measurements, this study was conducted to ..
  33. Wood M, Guo X, Vitkin I. Polarized light propagation in multiply scattering media exhibiting both linear birefringence and optical activity: Monte Carlo model and experimental methodology. J Biomed Opt. 2007;12:014029 pubmed
    ..The model employs the Jones N-matrix formalism to combine both linear birefringence and optical activity into a single effect that can be applied to photons as they propagate between scattering ..
  34. Jördens C, Scheller M, Wichmann M, Mikulics M, Wiesauer K, Koch M. Terahertz birefringence for orientation analysis. Appl Opt. 2009;48:2037-44 pubmed
    ..Among all samples we observe the largest birefringence for a rutile crystal with Deltan=3.3 at 1 THz.
  35. Agopov M, Gramatikov B, Wu Y, Irsch K, Guyton D. Use of retinal nerve fiber layer birefringence as an addition to absorption in retinal scanning for biometric purposes. Appl Opt. 2008;47:1048-53 pubmed
    We built a device sensitive to the birefringence of the retinal nerve fiber layer for biometric purposes. A circle of 20 degrees diameter on the retina was scanned around the optic disk with a spot of light from a 785 nm laser diode...
  36. Mai T, Reus N, Lemij H. Structure-function relationship is stronger with enhanced corneal compensation than with variable corneal compensation in scanning laser polarimetry. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2007;48:1651-8 pubmed
    ..with standard automated perimetry (SAP) in normal and glaucomatous eyes and the effect of marked atypical birefringence patterns (ABPs) on this relationship...
  37. Gianaroli L, Magli M, Ferraretti A, Crippa A, Lappi M, Capitani S, et al. Birefringence characteristics in sperm heads allow for the selection of reacted spermatozoa for intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Fertil Steril. 2010;93:807-13 pubmed publisher
    ..sperm injection (ICSI) was performed under polarized light that permitted analysis of the pattern of birefringence in the sperm head...
  38. Kook M, Cho H, Seong M, Choi J. Scanning laser polarimetry using variable corneal compensation in the detection of glaucoma with localized visual field defects. Ophthalmology. 2005;112:1970-8 pubmed
  39. Lai W, Lim B, Phua P, Tiaw K, Teo H, Hong M. Generation of radially polarized beam with a segmented spiral varying retarder. Opt Express. 2008;16:15694-9 pubmed
    ..The SVR is designed based on the linear birefringence of alpha-barium borate (alpha-BBO) crystal and fabricated using a dry etching process...
  40. Silva D, Gomes A, de Campos Vidal B, Ribeiro M. Birefringence and second harmonic generation on tendon collagen following red linearly polarized laser irradiation. Ann Biomed Eng. 2013;41:752-62 pubmed publisher
    ..8 nm) and characterization was undertaken using polarized light microscopy to investigate the birefringence and second harmonic generation to analyze nonlinear susceptibility. Rats received laser irradiation (P = 6...
  41. Yang S, Cooper M, Bandaru P, Mookherjea S. Giant birefringence in multi-slotted silicon nanophotonic waveguides. Opt Express. 2008;16:8306-16 pubmed
    We demonstrate record giant birefringence, nearly twice as large as has previously been achieved (Delta n(group) = 1.5 over more than 60 nm of bandwidth near lambda= 1550 nm) using a multi-slotted silicon nanophotonic waveguide...
  42. Huang X, Knighton R. Microtubules contribute to the birefringence of the retinal nerve fiber layer. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2005;46:4588-93 pubmed
    The retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) exhibits birefringence that is due to the oriented cylindrical structure of the ganglion cell axons. Possible birefringent structures include axonal membranes, microtubules (MTs), and neurofilaments...
  43. Montag M, van der Ven H. Symposium: innovative techniques in human embryo viability assessment. Oocyte assessment and embryo viability prediction: birefringence imaging. Reprod Biomed Online. 2008;17:454-60 pubmed in assisted reproduction has enabled the detection of structures within oocytes that possess a natural birefringence. Birefringence imaging of the meiotic spindle and the zona pellucida in living animal and human oocytes ..
  44. Spiesz E, Kaminsky W, Zysset P. A quantitative collagen fibers orientation assessment using birefringence measurements: calibration and application to human osteons. J Struct Biol. 2011;176:302-6 pubmed publisher
    ..In this study the out-of-plane collagen arrangement angle was calibrated to the linear birefringence of a longitudinally fibered mineralized turkey leg tendon cut at variety of angles to the main axis...
  45. Montag M, Schimming T, Koster M, Zhou C, Dorn C, Rösing B, et al. Oocyte zona birefringence intensity is associated with embryonic implantation potential in ICSI cycles. Reprod Biomed Online. 2008;16:239-44 pubmed
    A retrospective study recently showed that oocytes presenting with a high birefringence of the inner zona layer were more often associated with conception cycles...
  46. Roberts N. The optics of vertebrate photoreceptors: anisotropy and form birefringence. Vision Res. 2006;46:3259-66 pubmed
    The optics of vertebrate photoreceptors have been investigated with specific reference to the effect of form birefringence. The complex dielectric tensor of the lamellar-like outer segment structure has been derived, allowing the ..
  47. Madaschi C, Aoki T, de Almeida Ferreira Braga D, De Cássia Savio Figueira R, Semião Francisco L, Iaconelli A, et al. Zona pellucida birefringence score and meiotic spindle visualization in relation to embryo development and ICSI outcomes. Reprod Biomed Online. 2009;18:681-6 pubmed
    ..This study aimed to investigate possible factors contributing to the zona pellucida birefringence score and meiotic spindle visualization, and to evaluate whether these structures may predict intracytoplasmic ..
  48. Bolder S, Sagis L, Venema P, van der Linden E. Thioflavin T and birefringence assays to determine the conversion of proteins into fibrils. Langmuir. 2007;23:4144-7 pubmed
    ..The results of this method were used to calibrate steady-shear birefringence and Thioflavin T fluorescence measurements...
  49. Garcia Medina J, Garcia Medina M, Dorta S, Pinazo Duran M, Gallego Pinazo R, Zanon Moreno V. Effect of posterior capsular opacification removal on scanning laser polarimetry measurements. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2006;244:1398-405 pubmed
    ..Furthermore, some SLP measurements were significantly associated with BCVA before capsulotomy, suggesting that this technology may be useful to quantify PCO degree in non-glaucomatous patients. ..
  50. Malik B, Cote G. Modeling the corneal birefringence of the eye toward the development of a polarimetric glucose sensor. J Biomed Opt. 2010;15:037012 pubmed publisher
    ..has promise, but the realization of such an approach has been limited by noise from time-varying corneal birefringence due to motion artifact...
  51. Ferreira Q, Gomes P, Raposo M, Giacometti J, Oliveira O, Ribeiro P. Influence of ionic interactions on the photoinduced birefringence of poly[1-[4-(3-carboxy-4 hydroxyphenylazo) benzene sulfonamido]-1,2-ethanediyl, sodium salt] films. J Nanosci Nanotechnol. 2007;7:2659-66 pubmed
    Electrostatic interactions govern most properties of polyelectrolyte films, as in the photoinduced birefringence of azo-containing polymers...
  52. Makita S, Yamanari M, Yasuno Y. Generalized Jones matrix optical coherence tomography: performance and local birefringence imaging. Opt Express. 2010;18:854-76 pubmed publisher
    Phase retardation imaging including local birefringence imaging of biological tissues is described by generalized Jones-matrix optical coherence tomography...
  53. Liebi M, van Rhee P, Christianen P, Kohlbrecher J, Fischer P, Walde P, et al. Alignment of bicelles studied with high-field magnetic birefringence and small-angle neutron scattering measurements. Langmuir. 2013;29:3467-73 pubmed publisher
    b>Birefringence measurements at high magnetic field strength of up to 33 T were used to detect magnetically induced alignment of bicelles composed of 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DMPC), cholesterol, and 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-..