Polarized light microscopy


Axioplan - polarized light filter

Polarized light microscopy relies on the use of a beam of polarized light (waves vibrating in a single plane). To ensure the polarization of the light, a polarizer is placed after the light source, before the sample. The second polarizer, called the analyzer, is placed perpendicular to the first one and therefore cannot let the firstly polarized light pass through. However, a sample placed between the two polarizers disturbs the light beam which will adopt new vibrations, some of which will be able to pass through the analyzer.

Used primarily for the observation and identification of minerals, this technique allows also the identification of different collagen fibers on Sirius red-stained tissue sections. Depending on their thickness and arrangement, these fibers then appear in different colors as illustrated below.


Circular polarization set with lambda slide.


Interstitial Fibrosis Restricts Osmotic Water Transport in Encapsulating Peritoneal Sclerosis.
Morelle J, Sow A, Hautem N, Bouzin C, Crott R, Devuyst O, Goffin E.
J Am Soc Nephrol. 2015 Oct;26(10):2521-33

Reduced scar maturation and contractility lead to exaggerated left ventricular dilation after myocardial infarction in mice lacking AMPKα1.
Noppe G, Dufeys C, Buchlin P, Marquet N, Castanares-Zapatero D, Balteau M, Hermida N, Bouzin C, Esfahani H, Viollet B, Bertrand L, Balligand JL, Vanoverschelde JL, Beauloye C, Horman S.
J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2014 Sep;74:32-43