Many disease states are associated with cellular biomechanical changes as markers. Label-free phase microscopes are used to quantify thermally driven interface fluctuations, which allow the deduction of important cellular rheological properties. Here, the spatio-temporal coherence of light was used to implement a high-speed reflection phase microscope with superior depth selectivity and higher phase sensitivity. Nanometric scale motion of cytoplasmic structures can be visualized with fine details and three-dimensional resolution. Specifically, the spontaneous fluctuation occurring on the nuclear membrane of a living cell was observed at video rate. By converting the reflection phase into displacement, the sensitivity in quantifying nuclear membrane fluctuation was found to be about one nanometer. A reflection phase microscope can potentially elucidate biomechanical mechanisms of pathological and physiological processes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics