OSA's Digital Library

Biomedical Optics Express

Biomedical Optics Express

  • Editor: Joseph A. Izatt
  • Vol. 3, Iss. 1 — Jan. 1, 2012
  • pp: 153–159

Measurement of the traction force of biological cells by digital holography

Xiao Yu, Michael Cross, Changgeng Liu, David C. Clark, Donald T. Haynie, and Myung K. Kim  »View Author Affiliations

Biomedical Optics Express, Vol. 3, Issue 1, pp. 153-159 (2012)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (1124 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



The traction force produced by biological cells has been visualized as distortions in flexible substrata. We have utilized quantitative phase microscopy by digital holography (DH-QPM) to study the wrinkling of a silicone rubber film by motile fibroblasts. Surface deformation and the cellular traction force have been measured from phase profiles in a direct and straightforward manner. DH-QPM is shown to provide highly efficient and versatile means for quantitatively analyzing cellular motility.

© 2011 OSA

OCIS Codes
(170.0180) Medical optics and biotechnology : Microscopy
(170.3880) Medical optics and biotechnology : Medical and biological imaging
(090.1995) Holography : Digital holography

ToC Category:
Cell Studies

Original Manuscript: November 9, 2011
Revised Manuscript: December 2, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: December 14, 2011
Published: December 16, 2011

Xiao Yu, Michael Cross, Changgeng Liu, David C. Clark, Donald T. Haynie, and Myung K. Kim, "Measurement of the traction force of biological cells by digital holography," Biomed. Opt. Express 3, 153-159 (2012)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. A. K. Harris, P. Wild, and D. Stopak, “Silicone rubber substrata: a new wrinkle in the study of cell locomotion,” Science208(4440), 177–179 (1980). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  2. J. Lee, M. Leonard, T. Oliver, A. Ishihara, and K. Jacobson, “Traction forces generated by locomoting keratocytes,” J. Cell Biol.127(6), 1957–1964 (1994). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. T. Oliver, K. Jacobson, and M. Dembo, “Traction forces in locomoting cells,” Cell Motil. Cytoskeleton31(3), 225–240 (1995). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. M. Dembo and Y. L. Wang, “Stresses at the cell-to-substrate interface during locomotion of fibroblasts,” Biophys. J.76(4), 2307–2316 (1999). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. C. M. Lo, H. B. Wang, M. Dembo, and Y. L. Wang, “Cell movement is guided by the rigidity of the substrate,” Biophys. J.79(1), 144–152 (2000). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. T. Oliver, J. Lee, and K. Jacobson, “Forces exerted by locomoting cells,” Semin. Cell Biol.5(3), 139–147 (1994). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. S. Usami, S. L. Wung, B. A. Skierczynski, R. Skalak, and S. Chien, “Locomotion forces generated by a polymorphonuclear leukocyte,” Biophys. J.63(6), 1663–1666 (1992). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. E. K. Dimitriadis, F. Horkay, J. Maresca, B. Kachar, and R. S. Chadwick, “Determination of elastic moduli of thin layers of soft material using the atomic force microscope,” Biophys. J.82(5), 2798–2810 (2002). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  9. D. C. Lin, B. Yurke, and N. A. Langrana, “Use of rigid spherical inclusions in Young’s moduli determination: application to DNA-crosslinked gels,” J. Biomech. Eng.127(4), 571–579 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. M. K. Kim, “Principles and techniques of digital holographic microscopy,” SPIE Rev.1, 1–50 (2010).
  11. E. Cuche, F. Bevilacqua, and C. Depeursinge, “Digital holography for quantitative phase-contrast imaging,” Opt. Lett.24(5), 291–293 (1999). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  12. C. J. Mann, L. F. Yu, C. M. Lo, and M. K. Kim, “High-resolution quantitative phase-contrast microscopy by digital holography,” Opt. Express13(22), 8693–8698 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  13. A. K. Harris, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, (personal communication).
  14. C. Liu, Y. S. Bae, W. Z. Yang, and D. Y. Kim, “All-in-one multifunctional optical microscope with a single holographic measurement,” Opt. Eng.47(8), 087001 (2008). [CrossRef]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

Supplementary Material

» Media 1: MOV (26089 KB)     

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited