Polarization Speckles and Skin Applications

T. K. Lee*, L. Tchvialeva, I. Markhvida, H. Zeng, H. Lui, A. Doronin, I. Meglinski, D. I. McLean

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter


Interference and polarization techniques provide the highest sensitivity and precision in optical metrology. The recently introduced polarization speckle method, incorporating both techniques, is a promising biomedical tool. In this chapter we demonstrate how the method could be used in dermatology. Measuring the polarization properties of coherent backscattered light, we obtain the skin surface roughness, which is an important diagnostic parameter in the clinical recognition of some skin cancers, such as melanoma and their differential diagnosis from common benign lesions, such as pigmented seborrheic keratoses. The principle of the technique has been validated in two clinical studies, and the theory between skin surface roughness and depolarization was investigated using electric field Monte Carlo simulations. The goal of this research is to enhance the capacity of portable devices in the hands of primary care providers to enhance the accuracy of cancer diagnoses in a cost-effective manner.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationImaging in Dermatology
EditorsMichael R. Hamblin, Pinar Avci, Gaurav K. Gupta
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9780128028384
Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2016


  • Coherence
  • Laser speckle
  • Laser speckle contrast
  • Melanoma
  • Monte Carlo simulation
  • Polarization
  • Skin cancer
  • Surface roughness


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