Cell death detection by quantitative three-dimensional single-cell tomography

Biomed Opt Express. 2012 Sep 1;3(9):2111-20. doi: 10.1364/BOE.3.002111. Epub 2012 Aug 13.


Ultrahigh-resolution optical coherence tomography (UR-OCT) has been used for the first time to our knowledge to study single-cell basal cell carcinoma (BCC) in vitro. This noninvasive, in situ, label-free technique with deep imaging depth enables three-dimensional analysis of scattering properties of single cells with cellular spatial resolution. From three-dimensional UR-OCT imaging, live and dead BCC cells can be easily identified based on morphological observation. We developed a novel method to automatically extract characteristic parameters of a single cell from data volume, and quantitative comparison and parametric analysis were performed. The results demonstrate the capability of UR-OCT to detect cell death at the cellular level.

Keywords: (100.2960) Image analysis; (170.1530) Cell analysis; (170.1870) Dermatology; (170.4500) Optical coherence tomography.