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Biomed Opt Express. 2010 Sep 1;1(2):347-353.

Quantitative dispersion microscopy.

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G.R.Harrison Spectroscopy Laboratory, Masachusetts Institute of Technology. Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


Refractive index dispersion is an intrinsic optical property and a useful source of contrast in biological imaging studies. In this report, we present the first dispersion phase imaging of living eukaryotic cells. We have developed quantitative dispersion microscopy based on the principle of quantitative phase microscopy. The dual-wavelength quantitative phase microscope makes phase measurements at 310 nm and 400 nm wavelengths to quantify dispersion (refractive index increment ratio) of live cells. The measured dispersion of living HeLa cells is found to be around 1.088, which agrees well with that measured directly for protein solutions using total internal reflection. This technique, together with the dry mass and morphology measurements provided by quantitative phase microscopy, could prove to be a useful tool for distinguishing different types of biomaterials and studying spatial inhomogeneities of biological samples.

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