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Total Internal Reflection Holographic Microscopy (TIRHM) for quantitative characterization of cellular adhesions


The fight against cancer being a key feature in the improvement of human health, new research tools are constantly needed to answer the question of how the disease metastasizes. To characterize cancer cell motion, evanescent wave surface profiling is incorporated with digital holography into a new biomedical imaging technique termed Total Internal Reflection Holographic Microscopy (TIRHM). The presence of focal adhesions and cell-substrate interfaces on the instrument’s sensing face causes a frustrated TIR that modulates the object beam’s evanescent wave phase front. Inherently quantitative amplitude and phase images of SKOV-3 ovarian cancer cells, protists and tissues are currently being produced. Applications of this technique include measurements of cellular membranes and their motility without the addition of fluorophores for the characterization and study of embryogensis, morphogensis and wound healing and cancer metastasis.