We present a multimodal technique for measuring the integral refractive index and the thickness of biological cells and their organelles by integrating interferometric phase microscopy (IPM) and rapid confocal fluorescence microscopy. First, the actual thickness maps of the cellular compartments are reconstructed using the confocal fluorescent sections, and then the optical path difference (OPD) map of the same cell is reconstructed using IPM. Based on the co-registered data, the integral refractive index maps of the cell and its organelles are calculated. This technique enables rapidly measuring refractive index of live, dynamic cells, where IPM provides quantitative imaging capabilities and confocal fluorescence microscopy provides molecular specificity of the cell organelles. We acquire human colorectal adenocarcinoma cells and show that the integral refractive index values are similar for the whole cell, the cytoplasm and the nucleus on the population level, but significantly different on the single cell level.
- cell imaging
- confocal fluorescence microscopy
- holographic microscopy
- quantitative phase imaging