Dynamic quantitative microscopy and nanoscopy of red blood cells in sickle cell disease

TitleDynamic quantitative microscopy and nanoscopy of red blood cells in sickle cell disease
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsShaked, NT, Satterwhite, LL, Telen, MJ, Truskey, GA, and Wax, A
Conference NameProceedings of SPIE
Date Published01/2012

We have applied wide-field digital interferometric techniques to quantitatively image sickle red blood cells (RBCs) [1] in a noncontact label-free manner, and measure the nanometer-scale fluctuations in their thickness as an indication of their stiffness. The technique can simultaneously measure the fluctuations for multiple spatial points on the RBC and thus yields a map describing the stiffness of each RBC in the field of view. Using this map, the local rigidity regions of the RBC are evaluated quantitatively. Since wide-field digital interferometry is a quantitative holographic imaging technique rather than one-point measurement, it can be used to simultaneously evaluate cell transverse morphology plus thickness in addition to its stiffness profile. Using this technique, we examine the morphology and dynamics of RBCs from individuals who suffer from sickle cell disease, and find that the sickle RBCs are significantly stiffer than healthy RBCs. Furthermore, we show that the technique is sensitive enough to distinguish various classes of sickle RBCs, including sickle RBCs with visibly-normal morphology, compared to the stiffer crescent-shaped sickle RBCs. © 2012 Copyright Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).