Optical vortices as potential indicators of biophysical dynamics

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Conference Proceeding

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© 2017 SPIE. Laser speckle patterns are granular patterns produced as a result of random interference of light waves. Optical vortices (OVs) are phase singularities in such speckle fields, characterized by zero intensity and an undefined phase. Decorrelation of the speckle fields causes these OVs to move in both time and space. In this work, a variety of parameters of these OVs have been studied. The speckle fields were simulated to undergo three distinct decorrelation behaviors- Gaussian, Lorentzian and constant decorrelations. Different decorrelation behaviors represent different dynamics. For example, Lorentzian and Gaussian decorrelations represent Brownian and ordered motions, respectively. Typical dynamical systems in biophysics are generally argued to be a combination of these. For each of the decorrelation behaviors under study, the vortex trails were tracked while varying the rate of decorrelation. Parameters such as the decorrelation length, average trail length and the deviation of the vortices as they traversed in the speckle field, were studied. Empirical studies were also performed to define the distinction between trails arising from different speckle decorrelation behaviors. The initial studies under stationary speckle fields were followed up by similar studies on shifting fields. A new idea to employ Poincaŕe plots in speckle analysis has also been introduced. Our studies indicate that tracking OVs can be a potential method to study cell and tissue dynamics.

Publication Title

Progress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE