Label-free quantitative imaging of living cells and tissues

Technology & Features

Digital holographic microscopy (DHM) provides label-free quantitative  phase imaging of biological specimens for modular integration into common optical microscopes. The reconstruction of digitally captured holograms  is performed numerically. This feature allows multi-focus imaging of specimen parts in different layers and  subsequent autofocussing from single captured digital holograms without mechanical focus realignment. DHM  requires only low light intensities for object illumination and thus minimizes the interaction with the sample. This is an important advantage for minimally invasive quantitative long-term monitoring of living cell cultures. DHM  phase contrast imaging simplifies automated object tracking and image segmentation for quantification of cell  migration and morphology by extraction of absolute biophysical parameters such as cellular volume, thickness  and dry mass. The evaluation of quantitative phase images also provides access to the cellular refractive index  which is related to the cellular water content, intracellular solute concentrations and tissue density.

Biomedical Applications

DHM allows multimodal quantitative imaging of living cells and unstained  tissue sections and can be utilized to  investigate the influence of drugs, toxins and nanoparticles on cell morphology, growth and motility as well as for  quantification of inflammation mediated tissue density changes. Moreover it enables the analysis of the cellular  response to optical manipulation, the quantification of wound healing in-vitro and the observation of cancer cell  migration in 3D tissue models.

Related article at  www.photonics.com:

B. Kemper, "Digital holographic microscopy enhances cytometry and histology", Europhotonics Winter 2019, 20-23 (2019)

              BMTZ Brochure on Label-free Imaging