Large-scale and label-free phenotyping of cells holds great promise in medicine, especially in cancer diagnostics and prognosis. Here, we introduce inline digital holography microscopy for volumetric imaging of cells in bulk flow and fingerprinting of flowing tumor cells based on two metrics, in-focus scattered intensity and cell diameter. Using planar distribution of immobilized particles, we identify the optimal recording distance and microscope objective magnification that minimizes the error in measurement of particle position, size and scattered intensity. Using the optimized conditions and the two metrics, we demonstrate the capacity to enumerate and fingerprint more than 100,000 cells. Finally, we highlight the power of our label-free and high throughput technology by characterizing breast tumor cell lines with different metastatic potentials and distinguishing drug resistant ovarian cancer cells from their parental cell line.
- Digital holography
- Medical optics and biotechnology