Label-free 3D computational imaging of spermatozoon locomotion, head spin and flagellum beating over a large volume

Mustafa Ugur Daloglu, Wei Luo, Faizan Shabbir, Francis Lin, Kevin Kim, Inje Lee, Jia-Qi Jiang, Wen-Jun Cai, Vishwajith Ramesh, Meng-Yuan Yu, Aydogan Ozcan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


We report a high-throughput and label-free computational imaging technique that simultaneously measures in three-dimensional (3D) space the locomotion and angular spin of the freely moving heads of microswimmers and the beating patterns of their flagella over a sample volume more than two orders-of-magnitude larger compared to existing optical modalities. Using this platform, we quantified the 3D locomotion of 2133 bovine sperms and determined the spin axis and the angular velocity of the sperm head, providing the perspective of an observer seated at the moving and spinning sperm head. In this constantly transforming perspective, flagellum-beating patterns are decoupled from both the 3D translation and spin of the head, which provides the opportunity to truly investigate the 3D spatio-temporal kinematics of the flagellum. In addition to providing unprecedented information on the 3D locomotion of microswimmers, this computational imaging technique could also be instrumental for micro-robotics and sensing research, enabling the high-throughput quantification of the impact of various stimuli and chemicals on the 3D swimming patterns of sperms, motile bacteria and other micro-organisms, generating new insights into taxis behaviors and the underlying biophysics.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17121-17121
Number of pages1
JournalLight: Science & Applications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 12 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The Ozcan Research Group at UCLA gratefully acknowledges the support of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the Army Research Office (ARO; W911NF-13-1-0419 and W911NF-13-1-0197), the ARO Life Sciences Division, the National Science Foundation (NSF) CBET Division Biophotonics Program, the NSF Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) Award, the NSF EAGER Award, NSF INSPIRE Award, NSF Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity (PFI:BIC) Program, Office of Naval Research (ONR), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), Vodafone Americas Foundation, the Mary Kay Foundation, Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation, and KAUST. This work is based upon research performed in a laboratory renovated by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0963183, which is an award funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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