Phase-sensitive interferometry of decorrelated speckle patterns

Hendrik Spahr, Clara Pfäffle, Sazan Burhan, Lisa Kutzner, Felix Hilge, Gereon Hüttmann, Dierck Hillmann*

*Corresponding author for this work
3 Citations (Scopus)


Phase-sensitive coherent imaging exploits changes in the phases of backscattered light to observe tiny alterations of scattering structures or variations of the refractive index. But moving scatterers or a fluctuating refractive index decorrelate the phases and speckle patterns in the images. It is generally believed that once the speckle pattern has changed, the phases are scrambled and any meaningful phase difference to the original pattern is removed. As a consequence, diffusion and tissue motion that cannot be resolved, prevent phase-sensitive imaging of biological specimens. Here, we show that a phase comparison between decorrelated speckle patterns is still possible by utilizing a series of images acquired during decorrelation. The resulting evaluation scheme is mathematically equivalent to methods for astronomic imaging through the turbulent sky by speckle interferometry. We thus adopt the idea of speckle interferometry to phase-sensitive imaging in biological tissues and demonstrate its efficacy for simulated data and imaging of photoreceptor activity with phase-sensitive optical coherence tomography. We believe the described methods can be applied to many imaging modalities that use phase values for interferometry.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11748
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01.12.2019

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Biomedical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Phase-sensitive interferometry of decorrelated speckle patterns'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this