In Vitro Monitoring of a Cultured Human Retinal Pigment Epithelium Using 1375-nm Spectral-Domain Optical Coherence Tomography

Ji Hyun Kim, Ariunaa Togloom, Jae Ho Han, Jae Ryung Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Measurement of cell number is important in cell-based in vitro screenings for therapeutic drugs and tissue engineering such as cell culture maintenance, cell plating, and cell growth, as well as monitoring of cell viability, proliferation, and cytotoxicity. We performed cell counting using intensity-based in vitro spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT). Adult retinal pigment epithelium cells were cultured on a glass dish to prevent diffuse reflection from the surface, and the dish was tilted by 15° during OCT imaging to reduce coherence noise from specular reflection. Rasterized scanning was performed to generate a three-dimensional volume image with an en face image of the retinal pigment epithelium cell layers. Cell counting was achieved by measuring the density of bright spots after layer extraction and thresholding. Two other cell counting methods were also performed for the purpose of comparison, one using a hemocytometer and the other using water-soluble tetrazolium-1; cell counting by in vitro OCT yielded results better than those from the hemocytometer. Our results showed that in vitro OCT systems can be a powerful tool for estimating and analyzing cell density in a cultured sample without the need for dyeing the sample or causing cell death.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7482636
Pages (from-to)3455-3460
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Lightwave Technology
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Aug 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received March 16, 2016; revised May 16, 2016; accepted May 26, 2016. Date of publication May 31, 2016; date of current version June 24, 2016. This work was supported in part by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea under Grant NRF-2013R1A1A2062448, and in part by the Korea University under Grant K1503221. The work of J. Kim was supported by the Korea University Grant. J. H. Kim and A. Togloom contributed equally to this paper.

Publisher Copyright:
© 1983-2012 IEEE.


  • Biological cells
  • biomedical monitoring
  • density measurement
  • optical imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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