Digital Holographic Microscopy: A New Imaging Technique to Quantitatively Explore Cell Dynamics with Nanometer Sensitivity

Pierre Marquet*, Christian Depeursinge

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In the first part of this chapter, we describe how the new concept of digital optics applied to the field of holographic microscopy has made it possible to quantitatively and accurately measure the phase retardation induced on the transmitted wavefront by the observed transparent specimen, allowing thus to develop a reliable and flexible digital holographic quantitative phase microscopy (DH-QPM). In the second part the most relevant DH-QPM applications in the field of cell biology are presented. Particularly, applications taking directly advantage of benefits provided by digital optics particularly off-line autofocusing and extended depth of focus, are outlined. Otherwise, special emphasis is placed on how important biophysical cell parameters including absolute cell volume, dry mass, protein content, transmembrane water movements, cell membrane fluctuations etc. can be derived from the quantitative phase signal (QPS) and used to characterize cell dynamics, analyze specific biological mechanisms and discriminate between physiological and pathophysiological states. In the last part, we present how transmembrane water movement measurements can be used to resolve neuronal network activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMulti-dimensional Imaging
PublisherWiley-IEEE Press
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9781118705766
ISBN (Print)9781118449837
StatePublished - May 12 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


  • Absolute cell volume
  • Aquaporins
  • Cell imaging
  • Cell membrane fluctuations
  • Cotransporters
  • Digital holographic microscopy
  • Digital holography quantitative phase microscopy
  • Dry mass
  • Glutamate
  • Neuronal activity
  • Neuronal swelling
  • Protein content
  • Quantitative phase microscopy
  • Red blood cells
  • Refractive index
  • Transmembrane ionic currents
  • Transmembrane water movements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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