Incremental residual polarization caused by aging in human skin

Viktor Dremin*, Elena V. Zharkikh, Ivan Lopushenko, Zbignevs Marcinkevics, Alexander V. Bykov, Igor Meglinski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Significance: The study of the effect of aging on the optical properties of biological tissues, in particular polarization, is important in the development of new diagnostic approaches.

Aim: This work aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of the factors and mechanisms that contribute to the alteration of skin polarization properties caused by aging, using polarization-sensitive hyperspectral imaging measurements and Monte Carlo simulation.

Approach: Our investigation involved both experimental studies of in vivo human skin of volunteers of different ages and computational modeling that accounted for changes in the absorption and scattering properties of the skin model. Specifically, we analyzed alterations in the degree of linear polarization (DOLP) to better understand the impact of aging on skin polarization properties.

Results: A statistically significant increase in the DOLP was found for the elderly group. At the same time, there was no correlation between changes in polarization and the calculated blood volume fraction parameter for different ages. According to the simulation results, it was also found that a change in the scattering properties of biological tissues has a more significant effect on the change in polarizing light compared to the change in absorption.

Conclusions: The results of the work prove that the sensitivity of polarization imaging to age- or pathological-related skin changes may be primarily due to changes in scattering, which in turn is associated with changes in the collagen fibers of the dermis. The proposed technique shows promise for in vivo non-invasive real-time assessment of age-associated skin changes and can also be extended to monitor changes associated with the development of age-related pathologies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number052912
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number5
Early online date14 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - May 2024

Bibliographical note

Copyright © The Authors. Published by SPIE under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Distribution or reproduction of this work in whole or in part requires full attribution of the original publication, including its DOI. [DOI: 10.1117/1.JBO.29.5.052912]


  • polarization
  • hyperspectral imaging
  • human skin
  • Monte carlo simulation


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