Abstract

We propose a versatile 3D phase-imaging microscope platform for real-time imaging of optomicrofluidic devices based on the principle of digital holographic microscopy (DHM). Lab-on-chip microfluidic devices fabricated on transparent polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and glass substrates have attained wide popularity in biological sensing applications. However, monitoring, visualization, and characterization of microfluidic devices, microfluidic flows, and the biochemical kinetics happening in these devices is difficult due to the lack of proper techniques for real-time imaging and analysis. The traditional bright-field microscopic techniques fail in imaging applications, as the microfluidic channels and the fluids carrying biological samples are transparent and not visible in bright light. Phase-based microscopy techniques that can image the phase of the microfluidic channel and changes in refractive indices due to the fluids and biological samples present in the channel are ideal for imaging the fluid flow dynamics in a microfluidic channel at high resolutions. This paper demonstrates three-dimensional imaging of a microfluidic device with nanometric depth precisions and high SNR. We demonstrate imaging of microelectrodes of nanometric thickness patterned on glass substrate and the microfluidic channel. Three-dimensional imaging of a transparent PDMS optomicrofluidic channel, fluid flow, and live yeast cell flow in this channel has been demonstrated using DHM. We also quantify the average velocity of fluid flow through the channel. In comparison to any conventional bright-field microscope, the 3D depth information in the images illustrated in this work carry much information about the biological system under observation. The results demonstrated in this paper prove the high potential of DHM in imaging optofluidic devices; detection of pathogens, cells, and bioanalytes on lab-on-chip devices; and in studying microfluidic dynamics in real time based on phase changes.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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Supplementary Material (4)

NameDescription
» Visualization 1: MOV (540 KB)      Fluid flow in the microchannel.
» Visualization 2: MOV (488 KB)      Clearing fluid in microchannel.
» Visualization 3: MOV (392 KB)      Flow of yeast cell in microchannel.
» Visualization 4: MOV (440 KB)      Zoom view of yeast cells in channel.

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