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Optics Letters

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  • Editor: Alan E. Willner
  • Vol. 37, Iss. 4 — Feb. 15, 2012
  • pp: 506–508

Near-field penetrating optical microscopy: a live cell nanoscale refractive index measurement technique for quantification of internal macromolecular density

Samantha Dale Strasser, Gajendra Shekhawat, Jeremy D. Rogers, Vinayak P. Dravid, Allen Taflove, and Vadim Backman  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Letters, Vol. 37, Issue 4, pp. 506-508 (2012)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OL.37.000506


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Abstract

Quantification of intracellular nanoscale macromolecular density distribution is a fundamental aspect to understanding cellular processes. We report a near-field penetrating optical microscopy (NPOM) technique to directly probe the internal nanoscale macromolecular density of biological cells through quantification of intracellular refractive index (RI). NPOM inserts a tapered optical fiber probe to successive depths into an illuminated sample. A 50nm diameter probe tip collects signal that exhibits a linear relationship with the sample RI at a spatial resolution of approximately 50nm for biologically relevant measurements, one order of magnitude finer than the Abbe diffraction limit. Live and fixed cell data illustrate the mechanical ability of a 50nm probe to penetrate biological samples.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.5710) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Refraction
(170.0180) Medical optics and biotechnology : Microscopy
(170.1530) Medical optics and biotechnology : Cell analysis
(180.4243) Microscopy : Near-field microscopy

ToC Category:
Medical Optics and Biotechnology

History
Original Manuscript: October 6, 2011
Revised Manuscript: December 13, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: December 15, 2011
Published: February 8, 2012

Virtual Issues
Vol. 7, Iss. 4 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Citation
Samantha Dale Strasser, Gajendra Shekhawat, Jeremy D. Rogers, Vinayak P. Dravid, Allen Taflove, and Vadim Backman, "Near-field penetrating optical microscopy: a live cell nanoscale refractive index measurement technique for quantification of internal macromolecular density," Opt. Lett. 37, 506-508 (2012)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ol/abstract.cfm?URI=ol-37-4-506


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