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Flow visualization and flow cytometry with holographic video microscopy

Fook Chiong Cheong, Bo Sun, Rémi Dreyfus, Jesse Amato-Grill, Ke Xiao, Lisa Dixon & David G. Grier
Department of Physics and Center for Soft Matter Research, New York University, New York, NY 10003

Date: July 17, 2009


The video stream captured by an in-line holographic microscope can be analyzed on a frame-by-frame basis to track individual colloidal particles' three-dimensional motions with nanometer resolution, and simultaneously to measure their sizes and refractive indexes. Through a combination of hardware acceleration and software optimization, this analysis can be carried out in near real time with off-the-shelf instrumentation. An efficient particle identification algorithm automates initial position estimation with sufficient accuracy to enable unattended holographic tracking and characterization. This technique's resolution for particle size is fine enough to detect molecular-scale coatings on the surfaces of colloidal spheres, without requiring staining or fluorescent labeling. We demonstrate this approach to label-free holographic flow cytometry by detecting the binding of avidin to biotinylated polystyrene spheres.

David Grier 2009-07-17