OSA's Digital Library

Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Michael Duncan
  • Vol. 13, Iss. 26 — Dec. 26, 2005
  • pp: 10665–10672

Membrane ripples of a living cell measured by non-interferometric widefield optical profilometry

Chun-Chieh Wang, Jiunn-Yuan Lin, and Chau-Hwang Lee  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 13, Issue 26, pp. 10665-10672 (2005)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (231 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



We measured the membrane topography and dynamics on a living fibroblast by using the non-interferometric widefield optical profilometry (NIWOP) technique. With a water-immersion objective of a 0.75 numerical aperture, our NIWOP system provides depth resolution about 20 nm. The imaging speed could be as high as 5 frames/min. We directly observed and profiled the inward propagation of membrane ripples near the cell edge. To verify if the membrane activity was driven by the underlying cytoskeleton, we changed the structure of the cell cortex while observing the membrane topography. After dissolving the actin cortex by cytochalasin D, we found that the propagation of the membrane ripples disappeared and the edge of the cell shank. The non-contact NIWOP technique does not affect the motility and viability of cells and therefore is suitable for the studies on cell physiology related to membrane motions.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(110.6880) Imaging systems : Three-dimensional image acquisition
(170.1530) Medical optics and biotechnology : Cell analysis
(170.3880) Medical optics and biotechnology : Medical and biological imaging
(180.6900) Microscopy : Three-dimensional microscopy

ToC Category:
Research Papers

Virtual Issues
Vol. 1, Iss. 1 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Chun-Chieh Wang, Jiunn-Yuan Lin, and Chau-Hwang Lee, "Membrane ripples of a living cell measured by non-interferometric widefield optical profilometry," Opt. Express 13, 10665-10672 (2005)

Sort:  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. B. Alberts, A. Johnson, J. Lewis, M. Raff, K. Roberts, and P. Walter, Molecular Biology of the Cell, 4th ed. (Garland Science, New York, 2002).
  2. H.-B. Wang, M. Dembo, S. K. Hanks, and Y.-L. Wang, "Focal adhesion kinase is involved in mechanosensing during fibroblast migration," Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 98, 11295-11300 (2001). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. J. E. Bear, T. M. Syitkina, M. Krause, D. A. Schafer, J. J. Loureiro, G. A. Strasser, V. Maly, O. Y. Chaga, J. A. Cooper, G. G. Borisy, and F. B. Gertler, "Antagonism between Ena/VASP proteins and actin filament capping regulates fibroblast motility," Cell 109, 509-521 (2002). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. B. D. Harms, G. M. Bassi, A. R. Horwitz, and D. A. Lauffenburger, "Directional persistence of EGF-induced cell migration is associated with stabilization of lamellipodial protrusions," Biophys. J. 88, 1479-1488 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. T. Akkin, D. P. Davé, T. E. Milner, and H. G. Rylander III, "Detection of neural activity using phase-sensitive optical low-coherence reflectometry," Opt. Express 12, 2377-2386 (2004). <a href= "http://www.opticsexpress.org/abstract.cfm?URI=OPEX-12-11-2377">http://www.opticsexpress.org/abstract.cfm?URI=OPEX-12-11-2377</a> [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. C. Rotsch, K. Jacobson, and M. Radmacher, "Dimensional and mechanical dynamics of active and stable edges in motile fibroblasts investigated by using atomic force microscopy," Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 96, 921-926 (1999). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. B. P. Jena and J. K. H. Horber, eds., Atomic Force Microscopy in Cell Biology, Methods in Cell Biology 68, (Academic Press, San Diego, 2002).
  8. R. E. Mahaffy, S. Park, E. Gerde, J. Kas, and C. K. Shih, "Quantitative analysis of the viscoelastic properties of thin regions of fibroblasts using atomic force microscopy," Biophys. J. 86, 1777-1793 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  9. C.-H. Lee, H.-Y. Mong, and W.-C. Lin, "Noninterferometric wide-field optical profilometry with nanometer depth resolution," Opt. Lett. 27, 1773-1775 (2002). [CrossRef]
  10. M. A. A. Neil, R. Juskaitis, and T. Wilson, "Method of obtaining optical sectioning by using structured light in a conventional microscope," Opt. Lett. 22, 1905-1907 (1997). [CrossRef]
  11. S.-W. Huang, H.-Y. Mong, and C.-H. Lee, "Super-resolution bright-field optical microscopy based on nanometer topographic contrast," Microsc. Res. Tech. 65, 180-185 (2004). [CrossRef]
  12. C.-H. Lee, C.-L. Guo, and J. Wang, "Optical measurement of the viscoelastic and biochemical responses of living cells to mechanical perturbation," Opt. Lett. 23, 307-309 (1998). [CrossRef]
  13. A. Dubois, A. C. Boccara, and M. Lebec, "Real-time reflectivity and topography imagery of depth-resolved microscopic surfaces," Opt. Lett. 24, 309-311 (1999). [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: AVI (2129 KB)     

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited