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Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 715843, 7 pages
Research Article

Morphological Measurement of Living Cells in Methanol with Digital Holographic Microscopy

1College of Applied Sciences, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing 100124, China
2Institute of Information Photonics Technology, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing 100124, China
3College of Life Science & Biotechnology, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing 100124, China
4Beijing Aeronautical Manufacturing Technology Research Institute, AVIC, Beijing 100124, China
5The Pilot College, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing 101101, China

Received 14 September 2012; Revised 16 December 2012; Accepted 18 December 2012

Academic Editor: Yujie Lu

Copyright © 2013 Yunxin Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cell morphology is the research foundation in many applications related to the estimation of cell status, drug response, and toxicity screening. In biomedical field, the quantitative phase detection is an inevitable trend for living cells. In this paper, the morphological change of HeLa cells treated with methanol of different concentrations is detected using digital holographic microscopy. The compact image-plane digital holographic system is designed based on fiber elements. The quantitative phase image of living cells is obtained in combination with numerical analysis. The statistical analysis shows that the area and average optical thickness of HeLa cells treated with 12.5% or 25% methanol reduce significantly, which indicates that the methanol with lower concentration could cause cellular shrinkage. The area of HeLa cells treated with 50% methanol is similar to that of normal cells , which reveals the fixative effect of methanol with higher concentration. The maximum optical thickness of the cells treated with 12.5%, 25%, and 50% methanol is greater than that of untreated cells, which implies the pyknosis of HeLa cells under the effect of methanol. All of the results demonstrate that digital holographic microscopy has supplied a noninvasive imaging alternative to measure the morphological change of label-free living cells.