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Opt Express. 2012 May 7;20(10):11496-505. doi: 10.1364/OE.20.011496.

Digital holographic microscopy long-term and real-time monitoring of cell division and changes under simulated zero gravity.

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Key Laboratory of Precision Opto-mechatronics Technology, School of Instrument Science and Optoelectronics Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing, China.


The long-term and real-time monitoring the cell division and changes of osteoblasts under simulated zero gravity condition were succeed by combing a digital holographic microscopy (DHM) with a superconducting magnet (SM). The SM could generate different magnetic force fields in a cylindrical cavity, where the gravitational force of biological samples could be canceled at a special gravity position by a high magnetic force. Therefore the specimens were levitated and in a simulated zero gravity environment. The DHM was modified to fit with SM by using single mode optical fibers and a vertically-configured jig designed to hold specimens and integrate optical device in the magnet's bore. The results presented the first-phase images of living cells undergoing dynamic divisions and changes under simulated zero gravity environment for a period of 10 hours. The experiments demonstrated that the SM-compatible DHM setup could provide a highly efficient and versatile method for research on the effects of microgravity on biological samples.

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