Research ArticleOPTICS

Distortion matrix concept for deep optical imaging in scattering media

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Science Advances  22 Jul 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 30, eaay7170
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aay7170

Abstract

In optical imaging, light propagation is affected by the inhomogeneities of the medium. Sample-induced aberrations and multiple scattering can strongly degrade the image resolution and contrast. On the basis of a dynamic correction of the incident and/or reflected wavefronts, adaptive optics has been used to compensate for those aberrations. However, it only applies to spatially invariant aberrations or to thin aberrating layers. Here, we propose a global and noninvasive approach based on the distortion matrix concept. This matrix basically connects any focusing point of the image with the distorted part of its wavefront in reflection. A singular value decomposition of the distortion matrix allows to correct for high-order aberrations and forward multiple scattering over multiple isoplanatic modes. Proof-of-concept experiments are performed through biological tissues including a turbid cornea. We demonstrate a Strehl ratio enhancement up to 2500 and recover a diffraction-limited resolution until a depth of 10 scattering mean free paths.

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