Single-shot and label-free refractive index dispersion of single nerve fiber by triple-wavelength diffraction phase microscopy

Behnam Tayebi, Wonju Kim, Farnaz Sharif, Bongjune Yoon, Jae Ho Han

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Nerve fibers play a critical role in the propagation of electrical impulses in the nervous system, and several studies have demonstrated their electrical and chemical properties. However, because of the lack of practical biophotonics techniques, most of the optical properties of these fibers are unknown. Herein, we propose and demonstrate a novel method of precisely measuring the dispersion of an individual nerve fiber in striatal neurons, using a single-shot label-free triple-wavelength diffraction phase interferometer and employing Cauchy coefficients of the refractive index. Compared with the current techniques of refractive index measurement, the proposed technique employs a common-path arrangement to achieve high temporal stability sensing of dispersion by a monochromatic detector. The dispersion spectra are obtained by reconstructing the triple-color wavefront of the specimen, extracting the thickness from the projected width of the fiber in the image, and then employing a Cauchy relation that is valid for the normal dispersions of transparent materials in the visible range. The feasibility of this technique was confirmed by analyzing the refractive indices of polystyrene microspheres. The technique was then applied to measure refractive index map and dispersion behavior of nerve fibers in medium spiny neurons with high temporal and spatial resolution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8316984
JournalIEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received December 11, 2017; revised February 12, 2018 and March 4, 2018; accepted March 4, 2018. Date of publication March 15, 2018; date of current version June 13, 2018. This work was supported in part by the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT), Korea, under the Information Technology Research Center support program (IITP-2017-2016-0-00464) supervised by the Institute for Information and Communications Technology Promotion (IITP); in part by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean Government (MSIT) (NRF-2017R1A2B2003808); and in part by the Korea University Future Research Grant. The work of B. Tayebi was supported by BK21 plus global leader development division in Brain Engineering. (Corresponding author: Jae-Ho Han.) B. Tayebi and J.-H. Han are with the Department of Brain and Cognitive Engineering, Korea University, Seoul 02841, South Korea (e-mail:,;

Publisher Copyright:
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  • Phase modulation
  • color imaging
  • holography
  • refractive index
  • spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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