Marker-Free Tracking of Facet Capsule Motion Using Polarization-Sensitive Optical Coherence Tomography

Amy A. Claeson, Yi Jou Yeh, Adam J. Black, Taner Akkin, Victor H. Barocas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We proposed and tested a method by which surface strains of biological tissues can be captured without the use of fiducial markers by instead, utilizing the inherent structure of the tissue. We used polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS OCT) to obtain volumetric data through the thickness and across a partial surface of the lumbar facet capsular ligament during three cases of static bending. Reflectivity and phase retardance were calculated from two polarization channels, and a power spectrum analysis was performed on each a-line to extract the dominant banding frequency (a measure of degree of fiber alignment) through the maximum value of the power spectrum (maximum power). Maximum powers of all a-lines for each case were used to create 2D visualizations, which were subsequently tracked via digital image correlation. In-plane strains were calculated from measured 2D deformations and converted to 3D surface strains by including out-of-plane motion obtained from the PS OCT image. In-plane strains correlated with 3D strains (R2 ≥ 0.95). Using PS OCT for marker-free motion tracking of biological tissues is a promising new technique because it relies on the structural characteristics of the tissue to monitor displacement instead of external fiducial markers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2953-2966
Number of pages14
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Biomedical Engineering Society.


  • Biomechanics
  • Image correlation
  • Polarized light
  • Spine


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