Abstract

Particle tracking is a fundamental technique for investigating a variety of biophysical processes, from intracellular dynamics to the characterization of cell motility and migration. However, observing three-dimensional (3D) trajectories of particles is in general a challenging task in classical microscopy owing to the limited imaging depth of field of commercial optical microscopes, which represents a serious drawback for the analysis of time-lapse microscopy image data. Therefore, numerous automated particle-tracking approaches have been developed by many research groups around the world. Recently, digital holography (DH) in microscopy has rapidly gained credit as one of the elective techniques for these applications, mainly due to the uniqueness of the DH to provide a posteriori quantitative multiple refocusing capability and phase-contrast imaging. Starting from this paradigm, a huge amount of 3D holographic tracking approaches have been conceived and investigated for applications in various branches of science, including optofluids, microfluidics, biomedical microscopy, cell mechano-trasduction, and cell migration. Since a wider community of readers could be interested in such a review, i.e., not only scientists working in the fields of optics and photonics but also users of particle-tracking tools, it should be very beneficial to provide a complete review of state-of-the-art holographic 3D particle-tracking methods and their applications in bio-microfluidics.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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