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Title: Dual-modality digital holographic and polarization microscope to quantify phase and birefringence signals in biospecimens with a complex microstructure

Optical phase and birefringence signals occur in cells and thin, semi-transparent biomaterials. A dual-modality quantitative phase and polarization microscope was designed to study the interaction of cells with extracellular matrix networks and to relate optical pathlength and birefringence signals within structurally anisotropic biomaterial constructs. The design was based on an existing, custom-built digital holographic microscope, to which was added a polarization microscope utilizing liquid crystal variable retarders. Phase and birefringence channels were calibrated, and data was acquired sequentially from cell-seeded collagen hydrogels and electrofabricated chitosan membranes. Computed phase height and retardance from standard targets were accurate within 99.7% and 99.8%, respectively. Phase height and retardance channel background standard deviations were 35 nm and 0.6 nm, respectively. Human fibroblasts, visible in the phase channel, aligned with collagen network microstructure, with retardance and azimuth visible in the polarization channel. Electrofabricated chitosan membranes formed in 40 µm tall microfluidic channels possessed optical retardance ranging from 7 to 11 nm, and phase height from 37 to 39 µm. These results demonstrate co-registered dual-channel acquisition of phase and birefringence parameter maps from microstructurally-complex biospecimens using a novel imaging system combining digital holographic microscopy with voltage-controlled polarization microscopy.

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Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Biomedical Optics Express
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
Article No. 805
Optical Society of America
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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