Measuring Collagen Fiber Orientation: A Two-Dimensional Quantitative Macroscopic Technique
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This paper describes the design, evaluation, and application of a new system for quantifying two-dimensional collagen fiber orientation in soft tissue. Series of transmitted polarized light images were collected using a custom-designed macroscope. Combined analysis of pixel brightness, and hue from images collected with a compensator plate, permitted the assignment of each pixel into the appropriate orientation band. Experiments were performed to quantify the linearity and noise of the system. Validation was performed on a specimen composed of strain-birefringent plastic strips at various orientations. Preliminary collagen fiber orientation data is presented from a tendon specimen. This study demonstrates the utility of this approach for studying collagen fiber orientation across large areas.
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