Coherent Fourier scatterometry reveals nerve fiber crossings in the brain

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Previous simulation studies by Menzel et al. [Phys. Rev. X 10, 021002 (2020)] have shown that scattering patterns of light transmitted through artificial nerve fiber constellations contain valuable information about the tissue substructure such as the individual fiber orientations in regions with crossing nerve fibers. Here, we present a method that measures these scattering patterns in monkey and human brain tissue using coherent Fourier scatterometry with normally incident light. By transmitting a non-focused laser beam (λ = 633 nm) through unstained histological brain sections, we measure the scattering patterns for small tissue regions (with diameters of 0.1-1 mm), and show that they are in accordance with the simulated scattering patterns. We reveal the individual fiber orientations for up to three crossing nerve fiber bundles, with crossing angles down to 25°.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4735-4758
JournalBiomedical Optics Express
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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