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IDBR: TYPE A: Quantitative Polarization and Phase Microscope for Label-free Imaging of Live Cell and Tissue Dynamics

Sponsored by National Science Foundation

$613.8K Funding
3 People

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An award is made to The University of Arizona to develop a Quantitative Polarization and Phase Microscope (QP2M). QP2M can measure the spectral dependent quantitative polarization properties and phase information of cell and tissue in real time; it is insensitive to motion and vibration because all information is acquired in a single shot. The microscope measures all four properties of light interacting with cell and tissue: intensity, wavelength, polarization, and phase. The ability to instantaneously measure live cells and follow motions and processes over time provides valuable information to the study of cellular dynamics, motility, and cell and tissue morphology. This project will bring multidisciplinary research and education in optical sciences and biology to both undergraduates and graduates students through the research in microfabrication, optical instrumentation, and bioimaging. The goal of this project is to integrate quantitative polarization and phase imaging techniques for label-free imaging of live cell dynamics. Novel color polarization sensor will be developed to detect right circular polarized light and three linearly polarized light at 0, 45, and 90 degree angles, at three wavelengths in a single shot. The sensor will be integrated with a microscope that can simultaneously capture 3 phase-shift images for quantitative phase measurement or 4 images with different polarization states for quantitative polarization measurement. The fast acquisition capacity of polarization and phase imaging will allow the coupling of spectral, phase, and polarization analysis and may reveal previously unattained vital information about the dynamics in living cells, tissues, and whole organisms, leading to new discoveries not possible before. The polarization and phase imaging techniques being developed for this project also enable new applications and experiments in cancer detection, diseases diagnosis and surgery.