The digital holographic microscope involves recording of a hologram or interference pattern between the object beam that passes through a specimen and a reference beam on a CMOS camera. Our DHM has the capability to capture and digitally record both the bright field images and holograms of the specimen with balanced 40x infinity corrected objectives. The holograms are then reconstructed to obtain the 3-dimensional phase profile of the specimen. Phase is an extra dimension of information that translates to the morphological structure of the specimen.
The novelty of our DHM lies in reconstruction of the phase map from a single-shot hologram with full resolution. The method also allows us to reconstruct a local hologram corresponding to the region-of-interest with full resolution that is not possible with the traditional Fourier transform approach.
Graphical User Interface
Graphical User Interface: We have developed a user friendly software that can generate 3-dimensional phase maps for both Red blood cells and Cervical Cells.
Automated Tool For Diagnosing Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women worldwide. India has a population of 453.02 million women aged 15 years and older who are at risk of developing cervical cancer. Current estimates indicate that one women dies of cervical cancer every eight minutes in India. It takes one-two decades for cervical cancer to fully develop but lack of regular and effective screening, low doctor to patient ratio, and inadequate infrastructure account for high mortality rate.
Today, Pap smear test is the popular screening method to detect the abnormal cervical cells. The pathologists scan the microscope slide from the Pap test to study the morphological changes in the cell profile to label the patient sample as either normal or abnormal. On a routine day, a doctor spends more than fifteen minutes to examine a single slide. Further, in the pre-cancerous stages, approximately 1-2% of cells are affected. So, a doctor has to look for a needle in a haystack to correctly label the patient sample.
Our goal is to alleviate the burden on doctors by developing a standardized automated tool for classification of cervical cells into normal and abnormal with the help of quantitative phase imaging. The capability of the tool lies in effectively marking the abnormal cells within a slide for doctor to further investigate, thereby making the diagnostic process time efficient.
Red Blood Cells Profiling
Being an efficient and staining independent process, phase imaging can be used for understanding the profile of red blood cells (RBCs). It is a promising technique for individual profiling based on gender difference and Haemoglobin (Hb) content. The 3-dimensional phase map of RBCs provides a better insight about their morphological structure. A typical RBC has a lifespan between 100-120 days. During this period, it encounters different environments and undergoes multiple changes both structurally and biochemically. The phase profile of RBCs can be extensively studied to correlate the biochemical changes with the structural modification to better understand the underlying principles.
Using the powerful tool of phase imaging, we are trying to design a protocol which can be applied for differentiating individuals based on different parameters of blood obtained from the phase images of the cells for personalized medicine.