Live cell refractometry using hilbert phase microscopy and confocal reflectance microscopy

Niyom Lue, Wonshik Choi, Gabriel Popescu, Zahid Yaqoob, Kamran Badizadegan, Ramachandra R. Dasari, Michael S. Feld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


Quantitative chemical analysis has served as a useful tool for understanding cellular metabolisms in biology. Among many physical properties used in chemical analysis, refractive index in particular has provided molecular concentration that is an important indicator for biological activities. In this report, we present a method of extracting full-field refractive index maps of live cells in their native states. We first record full-field optical thickness maps of living cells by Hilbert phase microscopy and then acquire physical thickness maps of the same cells using a custom-built confocal reflectance microscope. Full-field and axially averaged refractive index maps are acquired from the ratio of optical thickness to physical thickness. The accuracy of the axially averaged index measurement is 0.002. This approach can provide novel biological assays of label-free living cells in situ.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13327-13330
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number47
Publication statusPublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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