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Rapid 3D refractive-index imaging of live cells in suspension without labeling using dielectrophoretic cell rotation

: Habaza, Mor; Kirschbaum, Michael; Guernth-Marschner, Christian; Dardikman, Gili; Barnea, Itay; Korenstein, Rafi; Duschl, Claus; Shaked, Nathan T.

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Advanced science 4 (2017), No.2, Art. 1600205, 9 pp.
ISSN: 2198-3844 (Online)
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IZI ()
3D cell imaging; digital holographic microscopy; Microfluidics; quantitative phase microscopy; tomography

A major challenge in the field of optical imaging of live cells is achieving rapid, 3D, and noninvasive imaging of isolated cells without labeling. If successful, many clinical procedures involving analysis and sorting of cells drawn from body fluids, including blood, can be significantly improved. A new label-free tomographic interferometry approach is presented. This approach provides rapid capturing of the 3D refractive-index distribution of single cells in suspension. The cells flow in a microfluidic channel, are trapped, and then rapidly rotated by dielectrophoretic forces in a noninvasive and precise manner. Interferometric projections of the rotated cell are acquired and processed into the cellular 3D refractive-index map. Uniquely, this approach provides full (360°) coverage of the rotation angular range around any axis, and knowledge on the viewing angle. The experimental demonstrations presented include 3D, label-free imaging of cancer cells and three types of white blood cells.