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PLoS One. 2019 Dec 31;14(12):e0227096. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0227096. eCollection 2019.

One-shot phase-recovery using a cellphone RGB camera on a Jamin-Lebedeff microscope.

Author information

Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology, Albert-Einstein-Straße 9, 07745 Jena, Germany.
Institute of Physical Chemistry and Abbe Center of Photonics, Friedrich-Schiller-University, Helmholtzweg 4, 07745 Jena, Germany.
Medical Research Council, MRC, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, United Kingdom.


Jamin-Lebedeff (JL) polarization interference microscopy is a classical method for determining the change in the optical path of transparent tissues. Whilst a differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy interferes an image with itself shifted by half a point spread function, the shear between the object and reference image in a JL-microscope is about half the field of view. The optical path difference (OPD) between the sample and reference region (assumed to be empty) is encoded into a color by white-light interference. From a color-table, the Michel-Levy chart, the OPD can be deduced. In cytology JL-imaging can be used as a way to determine the OPD which closely corresponds to the dry mass per area of cells in a single image. Like in other interference microscopy methods (e.g. holography), we present a phase retrieval method relying on single-shot measurements only, thus allowing real-time quantitative phase measurements. This is achieved by adding several customized 3D-printed parts (e.g. rotational polarization-filter holders) and a modern cellphone with an RGB-camera to the Jamin-Lebedeff setup, thus bringing an old microscope back to life. The algorithm is calibrated using a reference image of a known phase object (e.g. optical fiber). A gradient-descent based inverse problem generates an inverse look-up-table (LUT) which is used to convert the measured RGB signal of a phase-sample into an OPD. To account for possible ambiguities in the phase-map or phase-unwrapping artifacts we introduce a total-variation based regularization. We present results from fixed and living biological samples as well as reference samples for comparison.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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