Spatial analysis of erythrocyte membrane fluctuations by digital holographic microscopy

Blood Cells Mol Dis. 2009 May-Jun;42(3):228-32. doi: 10.1016/j.bcmd.2009.01.018. Epub 2009 Mar 25.


Red blood cell (RBC) membrane fluctuations provide important insights into cell states. We present a spatial analysis of red blood cell membrane fluctuations by using digital holographic microscopy (DHM). This interferometric and dye-free technique, possessing nanometric axial and microsecond temporal sensitivities enables to measure cell membrane fluctuations (CMF) on the whole cell surface. DHM acquisition is combined with a model which allows extracting the membrane fluctuation amplitude, while taking into account cell membrane topology. Uneven distribution of CMF amplitudes over the RBC surface is observed, showing maximal values in a ring corresponding to the highest points on the RBC torus as well as in some scattered areas in the inner region of the RBC. CMF amplitudes of 35.9+/-8.9 nm and 4.7+/-0.5 nm (averaged over the cell surface) were determined for normal and ethanol-fixed RBCs, respectively.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Equipment Design
  • Erythrocyte Membrane / ultrastructure*
  • Holography
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / instrumentation
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Microscopy / instrumentation
  • Microscopy / methods*
  • Microscopy, Interference
  • Refractometry