Exploring red blood cell membrane dynamics with Digital Holographic Microscopy

Daniel Boss*, Jonas Kuehn, Christian Depeursinge, Pierre J. Magistretti, Pierre Marquet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Digital Holographic Microscopy (DHM) has been used to investigate the spontaneous cell membrane fluctuations (CMF) of the Red Blood Cell. DHM as an interferometric technique is able to accurately provide the wavefront deformation induced by a transparent specimen, including living cells in a transmission configuration. From a numerical reconstruction of a single hologram, quantitative phase contrast images are obtained. The local phase shift is proportional to the specimen thickness with accuracy of 5-10 nm. As a non invasive full field technique DHM is particularly well suited to assess and study membrane fluctuations of a large number of cells simultaneously. In our analysis we show that CMF amplitudes are unhomogenously distributed on the cellular surface and seem to correlate with the biconcave equilibrium shape of erythrocytes. A mean fluctuation amplitude of 47 nm is measured in a group of 198 erythrocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBiophotonics
Subtitle of host publicationPhotonic Solutions for Better Health Care II
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
EventBiophotonics: Photonic Solutions for Better Health Care II - Brussels, Belgium
Duration: Apr 12 2010Apr 16 2010

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherBiophotonics: Photonic Solutions for Better Health Care II


  • Digital holographic microscopy
  • Red blood cell membrane fluctuations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Biomaterials


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